Reno Judge Booted for Opposing the Feds

The Declaration of Independence is filled with a list of grievances against King George III, including, “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”

Two-hundred and forty-years later, His Majesty, King Barack the Only is doing the same thing and once again his truest of subjects, the Republican controlled House and Senate are doing nothing to stop him.

Reno judge Robert Clive Jones has repeatedly clashed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the federal government’s continuous land grabs, gay marriage, and ballot and voting issues. Because of this — he’s been relegated to what’s called “senior status,” thus making him a part-time judge.

In a decades-long dispute between the government and the E. Wayne Hage family’s Pine Creek Ranch near Tonopah, Jones ruled in favor of the rancher. This and several of Jones’s high-profile decisions in recent years have been overturned by the 9th Circuit.

His rejection of same-sex marriage in Nevada in 2012 was reversed in 2014, as was his 2012 effort to pull “None of These Candidates” off Nevada ballots. Jones also was overturned in September 2015 when the 9th Circuit revived a lawsuit against the Nevada Health and Human Services Department over the issue of disenfranchising potential low-income and disabled voters.

Wasting no time following Jones demotion, A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, law professor has been nominated by President Obama for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court in Nevada. The Senate’s being asked to approve Anne Rachel Traum, whose been recommended by none other than Senator Harry Reid.

Traum is on leave from the William S. Boyd School of Law, while serving as special counsel in the U.S. Justice Department Office for Access to Justice. The ATJ’s mission, among other things is to ‘advance changes’ at both ‘the state and federal levels,’ where there is no Constitutional law to support either the DOJ or the ATJ.

How the White House responded to a Navy SEAL’s Death

Daesh (ISIS) fighters killed a U.S Navy SEALs in Iraq, in what’s being characterized as an “extremely heavy, extremely intense” firefight with U.S. forces and Kurdish Peshmerga troops. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said of the loss, “It is a combat death, of course and a very sad loss. It shows you the serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq.”

Meanwhile, back at the White House, what do you think the Obama administration’s focused on? The President’s impending visit to Flint, Michigan — where he’ll will stop at a food bank, take part in a roundtable about the towns ‘water crisis,’ speak to a crowd of 1,000 at a predominantly African-American high school and meet Little Miss Flint.

WH Spokesman Josh Earnest made no mention of the SEAL’s death until questioned. Not only did Earnest need to be asked about the incident before acknowledging it — the White House still refuses to classify the role of U.S. troops in Iraq as combat, instead preferring the euphemism, “dangerous work.”

While one might have hoped the Obama Administration would stray from its daily ‘self-promotion’ tour to acknowledge the death of a U.S. Navy SEAL without waiting to be asked — most Americans know where our brave men and women in uniform fit into Obama’s priorities.

America’s Real Oligarchy

The greatest assault on our liberties isn’t necessarily coming from the Executive or the Legislative branch. The U.S. Constitution doesn’t truly provide for ‘lifetime appointment’ of federal judges, but rather, as stated in Article 3, Section 1: “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.”

It is coming instead from the U.S. supreme Court. And yes, I did leave the word ‘supreme’ uncapitalized as ‘Supreme Court,’ is not a proper noun according to the U.S. Constitution; while ‘Court’ is the true proper noun, ‘supreme’ is merely an adjective.

Also, a judge can and should be removed from office if he or she fails to act with ‘good behavior,’ and this includes our supreme Court. Regardless of whether those who wrote the Constitution expected the supreme Court to attain the degree of authority it now holds, the Framers would be horrified by broad, autonomous power vested in lordship-like individuals for decades on end and their so-called ‘good behavior.’

In March of 2016, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg heard an abortion suit stemming from a Texas law that she was openly critical of soon after it passed. In the 1980s and 1990s Justice Anthony Kennedy along with six of his colleagues accepted dozens of paid trips from West Publishing, a regular high court litigant whose arguments the justices often favored.

In 2011 the court handed down a 5-4 decision in a major class action suit, Wal-Mart v. Dukes, and Chief Justice Roberts voted with the majority that sided with the retail giant – even though earlier that year, three companies where Roberts owned as much as $450,000 worth of shares in filed pro-Wal-Mart “friend of the court,” or amicus, briefs. This amicus issue is not covered by the federal recusal statute, so Roberts was not required to sit out Wal-Mart.

In 2010, Justice Clarence Thomas voted in favor a striking down certain campaign finance laws around the time he attended a meeting organized by the Koch brothers, who are known for their vociferous opposition to such laws. In 2012 and 2015 Justice Elena Kagan did not step aside from cases related to the Affordable Care Act, though she helped craft its legal defense when working in the Obama White House.

Justices Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito, along with Chief Justice Roberts have heard more than two dozen cases in the last few years, like Wal-Mart v. Dukes. Not surprisingly, the three have collectively sided with those companies nearly 70 percent of the time.

This is not ‘good behavior.’

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1804, “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

Shutting Out the Nevada Voter

Nevada’s Senate Bill 499, signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval, took effect on October 1, 2015. Lawmakers behind the bill claim the goal was to increase ballot access for minor party candidates.

Unfortunately – and this was a known fact at the time – the opposite is true.

Here’s how the new law works: Voters in Washoe County’s District 4 — which includes Spanish Springs, Sparks and Wadsworth — have only two candidates running for the county commission seat, incumbent Vaughn Hartung and former state Senator Maurice Washington, both Republicans.

Nevada holds a primary on June 14, where candidates for state, county and local offices are cull ahead of the run-up to the general election in the November. This primary is in addition to the February caucuses where Republicans and Democrats picked who they want to represent them for president.

Democrats, independents and those registered with third parties will have no vote in the primary, yet the winner will be the only choice in the fall when those voters get a chance to take part. Under the old system, the two would have skipped the primary and been placed on the fall ballot where all registered voters would have a chance to pick between them.

Under the new system, the two will face off in the primary. The top vote-getter will be the only candidate listed on the fall ballot for WC-4 voters. In other words, Washington or Hartung will win and will represent all residents in District 4, even though non-Republicans were initially unable to vote.

Such action on the part of both parties within the Nevada legislature is not only disgraceful, but it’s empirical evidence that they are nothing more than mirror reflections of one another as they usurp power from the people and fail to represent them.

So Much for ‘Helpless and Harmless’

“At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government.” – Thomas Jefferson in a letter to A. Coray, October 31, 1823

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled law enforcement doesn’t need to show probable cause or get a warrant before obtaining cell phone records that show a person’s general whereabouts and phone usage. The opinion by a three-judge panel upheld the murder convictions of Donald Taylor for the 2010 killing of Michael Pearson during a marijuana drug deal in Las Vegas.

Taylor appealed his conviction, arguing that his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure were violated when law enforcement obtained cell phone location and use records from the cell phone provider. It was that information led to Taylor’s arrest.

Justice Nancy Saitta claims the warrantless access of Taylor’s historical cell phone location data didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment rights. She adds that the data didn’t provide content of Taylor’s calls or text message, only numbers, duration and the location of the cell towers routing the calls.

Such information interprets Saitta, are ‘business records’ and that Taylor has no reasonable expectation of privacy.

So much for the Section 18 of Nevada’s State Constitution which reads: “Unreasonable seizure and search; issuance of warrants. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable seizures and searches shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but on probable cause, supported by Oath or Affirmation, particularly describing the place or places to be searched, and the person or persons, and thing or things to be seized.”

Her interpretation also goes against the U.S. Constitution and the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

It is time for the citizen’s of Nevada to stand up and force the state legislature to hold the Nevada’s judiciary accountable for its obvious disregard of our God-given liberties as expressed in both the U.S. Constitution and the state’s Constitution.

Righteous or Simply Right

America is angry. And a lot of people like to prove-up their anger by calling it ‘righteous,’ and pointing to Jesus, who flipped over tables and used a whip “fashioned from cords” to chase the money-changers from the Temple (John 2:16.) While many of us use this story to legitimize our actions, we’ve  little understanding about what this word, ‘righteous’ actually means.

The word ‘righteous,’ is defined simply as being morally correct. But what does it mean when used in conjunction with ‘anger,’ and ‘violence?’

The Holy Spirit commands us (II Timothy 3:16-17) as believers to put on the “new self” and “be angry” with a different kind of anger (Ephesians 4:24-26.) If you study, you’ll find that Jesus shows us what it looks like to be angry in a way that is pleasing to God.

There are at least 15 times in the Gospel where Jesus displays righteous anger outwardly. Here are but a few:

Jesus railed against the Pharisees’ hypocrisy in Matthew 23. Jesus overturned the tables when the sellers and money-changers turned God’s house of prayer into a “den of robbers” (Jeremiah 7:11.)

It was Jesus, who looked at around “with anger” when the Pharisees cared nothing whatsoever about a man with a “withered hand” who was there in the synagogue with them (Mark 3:1-5.) Furthermore, Jesus raged at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:33, 38,) while he “snorted like a horse.”

He even rebuked Peter saying, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23.)

It’s interesting to note that Jesus didn’t fight to prevent his own arrest and he didn’t allow others to fight on his behalf; but he did fight in reaction to what he saw as morally unlawful and in the interests of others. For those of us with confrontational personalities, we might want to ask ourselves, “Is my motive to be right or to be righteous?” before ripping into an offending party.

If it’s simply to be right, we’ve got it all wrong. Of course, if you have to ask yourself the above question – it’s a near-guarantee you’re on the evil side of the equation as I’ve learned through some personal and painful experiences.

Another way to check ourselves is by examining our actions before they occur, after all Godly anger and violence is not vigilante justice, it is legal justice. Throwing an elbow into a man’s face for simply disagreeing with your opinion, is un-Godly, yet defending yourself from an act of overt violence is Godly.

In the end, the surprise of Jesus’ anger is that it sets us free, delivering us from evil. It enables us to let go of “the sin which so easily entangles us” (Hebrews 12:1) and compels us to hate our own sin, and to “Abhor what is evil,” which is a New Testament commandment that is all too often ignored and disobeyed (Romans 12:9.)

Prince in the Lede

Seven-time Grammy winner Prince,  known for “When Doves Cry” and “Purple Rain,” has died at the age of 57. He was found dead in the elevator of his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota on Thursday.

But this isn’t what this article is about. Rather, it’s about why his death was important enough to be the first story in the majority of the national news media’s programming that evening.

There is a real science behind how the national news is presented and why. It’s ingenuous and rather simple, but very nefarious, especially when used as a propaganda tool.

It comes at us simultaneously in the form of agenda-setting and framing.

Agenda-setting describes the media’s ability to influence public opinion by telling us the news they want us to know and telling us what to think about the news that’s being presented. This stimulates the audiences into believing a particular issues importance, while framing, which is extremely subtle, causes the unsuspecting viewer to have a particular response.

Human interest stories, which appeal to emotion (a particular response,) are an excellent example of the media’s use of agenda-setting and framing. Most every night the final segment to a national newscast is the ever-popular human interest story.

This happens every time we sit-down and watch a national newscast — we’re manipulated into believing that certain news items like the passing of a famous musician has greater relevance to our lives than all the new regulations the federal government is imposing on our God-given liberties. And so you’ll know, the Federal Registry issued 142 pages of new regulations, rules and other notices on the day of Prince’s death.

What Can I Do for You?

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. I’ve spent a lot of time hurting and feeling like I’ve been gypped or something.

Like usual, I started out whining and complaining before I realized where I should have started – on my knees. When I finally did, I came with resentment and blame and little else, pissed at Him and pissed at myself.

After two-weeks of self-imposed ‘anger and finger-pointing,’ here is my take away: Many people come to Jesus thinking it’s enough to believe, to stand on the sidelines and cheer.

Of, this, I am guilty and it is the number one reason I am not a preacher today as I had planned years ago. Jesus isn’t looking for cheerleaders, nor is He simply looking for converts.

Nope, He’s seeking those who will follow Him whatever the cost. He’s looking for radical devotion, unreasonable commitment and undivided dedication.

We may share the ‘good news’, but it’s not always the same message Jesus shared. Our version is softer.

Many take this message and omit the more ‘bad’ parts because they’ll scare people away. Instead, we make it sound comfortable and easy: You don’t have to do anything but believe.

Reducing Jesus from wanting a radical relationship of self-sacrificing love and humility to something more like an eternal ‘life insurance agent,’ has made Him made ‘safe,’ something He’s not!

By watering down the Gospel we have taken that which is all about Jesus and made it all about us, which it is not. Instead we’ve made Jesus a part of our lives when He is our life!

We all have our favorite causes, but Jesus didn’t come to take sides. Well, here’s a radical thought: Jesus came to take over and He’s poised do so again.

And instead of coming to Jesus with expectations of what He can do for us, we need to ask, “What can I do for you, Jesus?”

Autograph

As Louis Baker stepped from the stage, he knew he had hit the big-time. The cheering, standing ovation, the slaps on the back from other performers and stage hands, all told him so.

Out back of the theater, Louis Baker discovered even greater adulation as a crowd of several dozen flocked around him screaming, yelling his name and begging for his autograph. Women even slip their names in his jacket pocket hoping to be his paramour in the near future.

It was all very heady for the young actor as he headed up the block to his single room flat. Once there, he lay in bed dreaming of what his new-found fame-and-fortune would bring, including a luxury suite along Fifth Avenue.

The following morning Louis Baker rose and quickly dressed. The broad sheets would be out and he wanted to know what the critics thought of his performance.

He hurriedly walked down the sidewalk to the corner where the newspaper stand held his future. Yet, before he could get there, he had a small mishap, a misstep in all actuality.

The up and coming sensation stepped in a pile of dog droppings. Immediately, he sought to find something to wipe it from his Oxford’s.

He reached down and picked up a solitary piece of paper and used to clean-off his shoe. That’s when he noticed the handwriting on the fragment of parchment – it read: “All the best, Louis Baker.”

The Truth Behind ‘Stealing Delegates’

We keep hearing about that this candidate or that candidate is “stealing delegates.” There is no such thing. First of all, it implies something illegal, or at best, nefarious. Secondly, there is no way you can “steal” delegates.

Here’s how the delegate system works. In most states, delegates are selected by the campaign of a candidate.

For example, in some states some people have been selected to be a delegate for candidate ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C.’ Should candidate ‘A’ wins a majority of votes in the state then the selected delegate will go to the convention to vote for ‘A.’

In many cases, that delegate is committed to vote for the candidate for the first two ballots. After that they’re “unbound.”

There are some states where the delegates are only committed to vote for their candidate for the first ballot. Then there are some states where the delegates go to the convention “unbound,” and can vote for any candidate on the first ballot.

By the third ballot – it’s a certainty that all delegates are unbound and can vote for any candidate they wish. This is a practice that has gone on since the formation of the GOP in March 1854, but the compliant media continues to call this long-time political process “stealing” delegates.

Candidates who know the system will try to get delegates to vote for them after the first or second ballots. If their candidate isn’t selected on the first ballot, or the second ballot, they will vote for candidate on subsequent ballots.

The same media also keeps repeating that the ‘establishment’ is rigging the convention so that one candidate or another can’t win – which isn’t true. The way it works is that the candidate is not nominated by a vote of the people.

The people elect the delegates and the delegates nominate the candidate. If no candidate receives a majority of votes on the first ballot it will go to a second ballot, and to successive ballots until one candidate emerges with a majority.

This is why it is incorrect for anyone to claim the U.S. is a Democracy. Instead, the U.S. operates as a Constitutional Republic, but rarely if ever do you hear this in the compliant media.

In this case, a little education (both historic and civic) and some understanding of language (namely the misuse of words) can make all the difference to how convention activity and a Constitutional Republic operate.

Fair Share

We keep hearing this term “fair share” nearly every day from Progressives believe businesses and the rich must pay their fair share of taxes. So what is the fair share for the wealthy?

According to Progressives, it’s simply more — more than the 42.6 percent in federal taxes being paid by those in upper income brackets. It’s apparently entirely ‘fair’ that 50 percent of Americans now pay zero federal income tax, and some even enjoy what’s called a ‘negative tax rate.’

As it stands now in the U.S, the top one percent of wage earners, those who are continually disparaged by the left in America, bring home nearly 18 percent of the nation’s income. But they pay 35 percent of all federal income taxes.

Study after study has shown that when taxes are lowered, it stimulates the economy and brings in more revenue. For example, during the Roaring Twenties, tax rates were slashed dramatically, dropping from over 70 percent to less than 25 percent.

Personal income tax revenues increased from $719 million in 1921 to $1,164,000,000 in 1928, an increase of more than 61 percent. Increasing taxes also hurts the tax base, as oftentimes people and businesses flee higher tax states for lower tax states.

In 2012, French President Francois Hollande, proposed a massive 75 percent income tax on the wealthiest citizens. The tax revenue from the super tax was down significantly from the first year to the next, while the deficit skyrocketed another $97 billion.

In January 2015, the French government quietly killed the tax. It seems that unfortunately, historic lessons once learned are being willfully ignored.

If You See Something, Say Something

Our so-called Department of Homeland Security is constantly advising American’s, “If you see something, say something.” But what if it’s the government that’s acting suspicious?

Questions remain about the origin of a mysterious box on a utility pole near 21st and Glendale Avenues in Phoenix, Arizona. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATFE) finally came forward, admitting that a box spotted and removed from a Salt River Power (SRP) pole belonged to them and was part of an ongoing investigation.

Witnesses say that the crew who installed the box came in a truck marked “Field Pros.”  A Google search of that name does not return any utility or surveillance company.

ATFE officials refused to elaborate on the investigation, if any and would not say if they were conducting surveillance in the area. At first, SRP claimed they had no idea the box was installed on their power pole – later stating there “were indications that law enforcement was connected to the box.”

What those indications were – the company hasn’t said.

They said ATFE has to let know them or work with them if they have an object on their property. The ATFE, on the other hand, claims that depending on the investigation and security priorities, they can put such equipment in place without permission.

Meanwhile, the agency didn’t hesitate to claim that in this case they “acted within their bounds.”

There are homes, a high school, an apartment complex and a strip mall in the area. The strip mall has a salon, pet grooming store, alterations business, a barber shop and an ammunition store.

Note that last one: an ammunition store. It is self-evident that the ATFE is spying on people and activities surrounding this business, which is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

It’s obvious that the U.S. Constitution isn’t within the ATFE’s boundaries and this folks, is how tyranny starts!

Air Force Commander Violates the First Amendment

The Air Force is supposedly conducting an investigation after a video surfaced of retired Senior Master Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez being forcibly removed from a ceremony at Travis Air Force Base, near Sacramento in California. The incident took place on April 3 during, the retirement ceremony of Master Sergeant Chuck Roberson.

A spokesman from the base said that the confrontation stemmed from “an unplanned participation” at the event.

“Rodriguez ignored numerous requests to respect the Air Force prescribed ceremony and unfortunately was forcibly removed,” a Travis official said. “We will continue to investigate the situation fully.”

As the American flag is unfurled next to Rodriguez on stage he begins is statement: “Our flag is known as the stars and stripes. A union consists of white stars and a blue field above it.

“Each star represents one individual state,” Rodriguez continued. “Together they stand united in the visible.”

But as he does, the two men push him off stage and eventually out of the room.

An Air Force Reserve statement release following the incident took the insult to a higher level by openly claiming it “respects and defends the right to free speech and religious expression.”

However, the incident is actually a result of “bad blood” between Rodriguez and the current commanding officer of the 749th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. That commander is said to have barred Rodriguez from the ceremony, and ordered that he be removed after showing up anyway.

As of September 2013, Colonel Jeffrey Pickard is commander of the 349th Maintenance Group at Travis. As group commander, it is his duty to oversee the activities of the squadron commander of the 749th.

According to Air Force tradition a retiree can invite and have anyone speak at his or her own retirement. If the commanding officer does not like someone’s ceremony, he doesn’t have to attend.

I think the commanding officer in this case needs to be relieved of his duties and issued an official written reprimand.

This is What Tyranny Looks Like

At first Joe Hornick of West Long Branch, New Jersey, was pleased to see police when they came to his home. He’d been complaining of vandalism to his flag.

“Here I am looking for the cops to capture these people and instead, here they come and give me a ticket for my freedom of expression,” Hornick said of the officers standing on his front porch.

He now faces a $2,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail for flying a flag reading “Trump Make America Great Again” in front of his home. He flies his flags 24 hours a day.

Acting borough administrator Lori Cole said a local law bans political signs until 30 days prior to an election. New Jersey’s presidential primary is June 7.

Hornick, who has a court date April 20, is not taking the flag down.

“I feel my constitutional right has been violated. I have the right to express myself,” he stated.

But this battle isn’t over a political candidate or a flag. It’s about free speech and the First Amendment which states: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech,” thus the ordinance is unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the Fourteenth Amendment states in Section 1, that, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

It’s too bad we’ve been rendered near-ignorant of our God-given liberties as laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

My Faith in God and the Constitution

Please allow me to share with you my belief in God…

While pray nightly and have my favorite Bible verses, I am not by any means a religious man – instead I walk by faith, which to try and simply explain means my God is with me at all times and though I am a fallen man, I do my best to keep my eyes (remaining mindful of and) on Him at all times. For me faith doesn’t come with a set of hard and fast rules like religion.

My belief system is by no means one in which I insist you follow, to the contrary – I want you to explore your beliefs in a manner consistent with your personal values. For myself, my belief in God means an adherence to the broad concept of Judeo-Christian faith, which includes justice, virtue, fairness, charity, community, and duty.

Each of these concepts means different things to different people. For instance, under duty – my personal belief includes defending the U.S. Constitution up to an including my death. I hold that document as close to my heart as any member of my family or my friends, for whom I would gladly trade my life – and it is okay that you might not see ‘duty’ in the same light.

The reality of a ‘supreme transcendent authority,’ higher than any Earthly authority, naturally limits the legitimate authority of the State. No government can demand absolute obedience or legitimately attempt to control every aspect of our lives.

Thus, while I strongly disagree with such actions as abortion, I find it repulsive to limit a woman’s right to seek such a procedure through the force of law. Rather, I prefer to leave that between the medical professional, the patient and their God, reducing the State’s ability not only to interfere but to publicly fund.

Nor should the State be in the business of marriage, from enforced blood-testing to licenses and all the financial rewards the agencies benefit from. And while I may not be in favor of same-sex marriage, that again should remain between those getting married, their faith, their church, the venue and their God.

Again my belief in God does not conflate faith and politics, and it does not mean that religious disputes are necessarily political disputes, or vice versa. Nor does it mean you must believe in God, or that I have a monopoly on faith.

It does mean that there is a moral order that lies behind political order, and that order establishes the natural limits of all human authority. Finally, man is fallible and because this is so we must be a nation of virtues and values over rules and regulations, work over welfare, law over litigation, morals over money and liberty over security.

The Meaning of ‘Rule of Law’

Many times throughout our lives we’ve heard the term ‘rule of law.’ It sounds simple enough but what does it really mean?

But first, we should correct our vernacular – it isn’t jus’ ‘rule of law,’ rather we should always say it correctly, ‘Constitutional rule of law,’ as the U.S. Constitution is a contract between the citizens and the State. Over the years, whether on purpose or out of laziness, ‘Constitution,’ has been redacted from the phrase.

Constitutional rule of law of insists that a predictable and consistent legal system is necessary for an ordered liberty. A lawful society consists of a government of laws, not men, in which people know what the rules are, and in which rules are enforced uniformly for all citizens.

It also means that the government itself, along with the governed, is subject to those laws. For Constitutional law to function, by contrast, even the administrators of the law must be subject to its provisions. That also means that ALL people are to be equally protected by the law.

When such a condition exists then the rule of law is present. Placing Constitutional law on a firm and decisive basis is a necessary step for assuring such a situation and in the end a Constitutional rule of law promotes prosperity and protects our liberties.

How and When We Became Factionalized

In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that praying in school was unconstitutional, setting the stage that began the assault on America’s religious freedom. Interestingly, children saying prayers in school does not and cannot qualify as Congress making a law to establish religion.

But it certainly could be interpreted as prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Yet, that somehow was not the determination made by the Earl Warren-led Supreme Court.

How the SCOTUS drew this conclusion is still beyond my understanding. Did none of them read The Federalist #10, in which James Madison writes, “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

No wonder we are so divided — we are each part of a faction that developed from this 1962 ruling. But is it really unconstitutional or simply an ‘impulse of passion,’ as Madison describes?

The Friendless Kid on the Playground

It’s as if our president is simply looking for a friend anywhere in the world. It’s like a child on the playground looking to find someone, anyone who’ll pay attention to them…

“I actually welcome President Castro commenting on some of the areas where he feels that we’re falling short, because I think we should not be immune or afraid of criticism or discussion as well.” — President Obama

I’d feel bad for Obama if it wasn’t so calculated.

My Trump Explanation

Okay, okay, okay…time and again I’ve been asked to explain what I find wrong with Donald Trump’s candidacy. To be candid – absolutely nothing – as he has every right to run for the presidency of this country.

But what he says – well, that’s a whole other thing – but you have to really listen and get beyond his ‘rough-and-tumble’ ad-libs and rhetoric. Yes, he has people stirred up throughout the political spectrum, especially those of us who’ve endured these nearly-eight years of astutely-executed Progressive ideologies.

But jus’ because he appears to be saying the ‘right’ thing – doesn’t mean he isn’t couching his actual policies in amongst those bombastic words. Take for instance his comments on January 21, where he literally stated:

“And you know what, there’s a point at which, let’s get to be a little bit establishment, because we gotta get things done, folks, okay? Believe me, don’t worry, we’re gonna get such great deals, but at a certain point, you can’t be so strident, you can’t not get along, we gotta get along with people.”

A ‘little bit’ of establishment,’ is too much establishment. What is need is less government, less professional, life-time politicians and less lobbyists — not more establishment.

Then there are these little gems from February 2016, “We’re going to repeal and replace the horror known as Obamacare, it is a horror,” and, “I want to get rid of Obamacare and get you something great.”

It worries me that a man who’s made so much money wouldn’t want us to return to the free market system of healthcare. Instead he wants to continue the pattern the Obama Administration began of forcing so-called ‘free’ health care down our throats.

And no, I am not telling you who to support or how to vote. All I’m doing is pointing out some glaring inconsistencies within Trump’s campaign speeches – the rest is up to you.

Tyranny Doesn’t Always Come at the End of a Gun Barrel

Nevada Senator Harry Reid wants the Obama’s administration to grab a stretch of land in Southern Nevada near the Bundy Ranch, now that many in the Bundy group are in federal custody. Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan, and several supporters, are facing federal charges stemming from two standoffs with the federal government.

Emboldened by this, Reid took to the Senate floor Thursday to renew his push to preserve the scenic Gold Butte area northeast of Las Vegas by attacking the Bundy’s and the 2014 Bunkerville showdown.

“Because of this legislation and now the fact that the Bundys’ are all in jail, I’m going to reach out to the White House, no guarantee we’ll get it done, that’s for sure, to see if President Obama will protect this area,” Reid said in a speech from the Senate floor.

Reid argued protections are needed to preserve Gold Butte’s tribal sites and its “stunning” Joshua trees. He displayed photos of petroglyphs he said had been drawn over, shot at and stolen.

Obama “has the authority, as any president does, to stop this sort of destruction and stop it now,” Reid said. “Congress created the Antiquities Act to empower the president to protect our culture, our historic and natural resources when and where Congress cannot or will not.”

Obama has used the act 22 times to set aside 265 million acres of federally administered lands and waters, more than any other president and has confiscated nearly four million acres of Western land, more than all other presidents except Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, et. al., and all the national talk shows are mesmerized by the circus-jerk-us of presidential politics, and while we are being deceived by the ‘DNC verses the GOP’ false paradigm, a rogue federal government is targeting our liberties.

The Making of a Political Prisoner

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy will remain in custody without bail in advance of his federal trial. A judge made the ruling Thursday after Bundy’s attorney asked for, and was granted a review of his previous detention hearing in Oregon.

In my humble opinion, this is tantamount to “cruel and unusual punishment.” You must remember he’s being held in custody because he verbally threatened federal law enforcement officers – not physically mind you, but verbally. This proves that the federal government is coming at our 2nd Amendment right through the 1st Amendment.

If you speak out, you shall be declared a threat and dealt with accordingly. After all, a man was gunned down along U.S. 395 in Oregon for no more than having holstered weapon on his hip and his hands in the air.

Let’s Talk About Liberty

Do you believe that people possess the right to life, liberty, property, and freedom from the restrictions of arbitrary force? Do you believe you have the right to exercise these rights through the use of your natural free will?

That means the ability to follow your own dreams, to do what you want to do — so long as you don’t harm others — and to reap the rewards. Above all, it means freedom from oppression by government and the protection by government against oppression.

It means political liberty, the freedom to speak your mind and advocate any political position that suits your fancy. It means religious liberty to worship as you please. It also means the liberty not to have to do any of those things.

Liberty also means economic liberty, the freedom to allocate resources by the free play of supply and demand and the free market system that follows from it; it means the freedom to own property and to use it accordingly.

Do you believe in the notion that the pursuit of virtue is central to human existence, and that liberty is an essential component of the pursuit of virtue? After all virtue is a necessary element in the pursuit of freedom — it ensures that freedom will be pursued for the common good — and when freedom is abused and must be controlled, virtue provides a standard for restraint.

Our Founding Fathers realized that the greatest threats to liberty are the impositions of government, whether monarchical, democratic, or otherwise. On the other hand, they also realized that there are some things the government must control like borrowing money, regulating commerce with foreign nations and between States, immigration, bankruptcy law, coin money, post offices, patents, punish piracy on the high seas, declare war, raise an army, and maintain a navy.

Tradition and Order

Do you believe in tradition and order?

Tradition speaks first to the idea of conserving the values that have been established over centuries, resulting in an orderly society. Secondly, it believes that human nature has the capacity to build a social order that respects human rights and is able to repel evil.

On the other hand order is a systematic and harmonious arrangement, both within your own character and in the State. It entails the performance of certain duties and the enjoyment of certain rights in your life. It’s absolutely necessary for life and the pursuit of our dreams.

Order is an achievement that is easily taken for granted; it is perhaps more easily understood by looking at its opposite — disorder which is confusing and miserable. And if a society falls into general disorder, many of its members will cease to have a voice in their daily lives.

Disorder also helps to explain why order depends upon virtue — if you are I are disordered in our spirit, the outward order of society will not endure.

For the Record

Let’s be clear historically: The American Revolutionary War was not a battle between the British And Americans. It was a battle between British Colonists and their government.

It was a battle to win independence from government intrusion, denial of liberty, and government control. It was a civil war, not a foreign war.

Possible Terror Cell Captured in Southern California Desert

At 8:25 a.m. Sunday morning, March 27, 2016, multiple agencies responded the report of suspicious circumstances including reports of gunshots and chanting in the predawn hours in the Deep Creek hot springs area in a remote part of Apple Valley. Deputies from Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto and Victorville Police Departments also responded to help.

Seventeen men of Middle Eastern descent were ‘detained.’

A caller to 911 reported hearing more than 100 shots fired and seeing several men wearing turbans in the area of the shooting. San Bernardino County sheriff’s office said the men were released after authorities found no evidence of a specific crime or outstanding warrants.

With the help of a sheriff’s helicopter, deputies located the men walking away from a creek carrying backpacks and other items. A search found several handguns, a rifle and a shotgun

“A records check of the subjects, their weapons, and their vehicles was completed,” the statement said. “The records check revealed none of the subjects had a criminal history or outstanding warrants, the weapons were registered with the Department of Justice except for the rifle, and the vehicles were also registered.”

One rifle did not have a serial number because it was bought in parts. But it was deemed to be legal in California.

Sheriff’s investigators contacted several hikers, but supposedly none saw the guns being fired. However, Dave Stevens, who was hiking at the Hot Springs on Sunday, said he first heard shots fired around 6:30 a.m. and saw five or six men “shooting in the air.”

“I was about 50 feet away from the hot tub and saw them fire about six to eight shots,” Stevens said.

Stevens also said he heard from other hikers that the men were chanting, but did not know anything else as he quickly left the area. His statement’s bolstered by police scanner traffic posted online describing “a large group of subjects wearing turbans and chanting” at the scene.

“They were up all night chanting ‘Allah akbar’-type stuff,” an unidentified law enforcement officer is heard saying on the audio recording as he speaks to his dispatcher.

“None of the subjects that were interviewed were found to be terrorists,” Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jodi Miller said. “They were detained, interviewed and cooperated fully with deputies.”

Another sheriff’s spokeswoman, Olivia Bozek said, “The deputies detained the subjects and from what I was told they are going to be transported to the High Desert Detention Center.  I do not know what charges they are going to be booked for.”

And so the question remains: If the 17 men aren’t terrorist, were they arrested or simply detained and if only being detained, why were they taken to a detention center and why speculate on what charges they might face? None of this adds up.

Religious Liberty Dying

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell last week. At issue is whether the federal government can force the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Catholic University of America and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to provide contraceptive and abortion coverage as part of their health insurance plans, even if doing so goes against their free exercise of religion.

But there seems to be more afoot than the question of exemptions as alluded to by Justice Elena Kagan.

“I thought there was a very strong tradition in this country, which is that when it comes to religious exercises, churches are special, and that…if you’re saying that every time Congress gives an exemption to churches and synagogues and mosques, that they have to open that up to all religious people, then the effect of that is that Congress just decides not to give an exemption at all,” she said.

Basically, Kagan is disallowing for individual liberty, instead pointing to the Progressive idea that only ‘organized religious institutions’ can skirt the mandate. This is contrary to what the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has long taught the immorality of abortion and contraception. These teachings are indivisible from the faith and orthodox followers, which include religious institutions and as such, demand protection under the U.S. Constitution.

But to the government, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg later indicated, such beliefs aren’t a ‘compelling’ reason to allow an exemption, especially when the ‘right’ to ‘preventative healthcare services’ is at risk.

“As you know, the — the original health care plan didn’t provide these covered services for women, and it saw a compelling interest there, a need that was marginally ignored up until then,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated.

The federal government through the SCOTUS is trying to marginalize religious freedom, by spawning a state-created orthodoxy where individual religious beliefs are unacceptable.

Thomas Jefferson recognized the relationship between God and man when he penned a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

By distorting Jefferson’s word, this important concept’s been used to sanitize school classrooms, war memorials and courtrooms of references to faith. Its misapplication has led to believe that Jefferson’s intent was to confine religion to the church as shown by Kagan and Ginsburg.

Finally, when a new ‘right’ violates another God-given liberty — that so-called ‘right’ isn’t from God — but rather from imperfect man.

Fidel to Barack: ‘Screw You!’

Cuba’s former president penned a statement following President Obama’s visit. Fidel Castro wrote that Cuba “has no need of gifts” from the U.S.

“My modest suggestion is to reflect and do not try now to develop theories about Cuban politics,” Castro wrote of Obama.

“Native populations do not exist at all in the minds of Obama,” Castro wrote. “Nor does he say that racial discrimination was swept away by the Revolution; that retirement and salary of all Cubans were enacted by this before Mr. Barack Obama was 10 years old.”

Castro also harkened back to the 1961 failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs, saying, “Nothing can justify this premeditated attack that cost our country hundreds of killed and wounded.”

By most measures, Cuba’s economy is on life support, but Castro insists the communist system he put in provides for the island’s citizens.

“No one should pretend the people of this noble and selfless country give up its glory and rights,” he wrote. “We are able to produce food and material wealth we need with the effort and intelligence of our people.”

It seems Obama’s dream for an open and happy relationship with our Cuban socialist and communist neighbor is not forthcoming. Castro paints himself as the protector of “native population.”

Of course, protecting that population requires the same kind of butchery and tyranny Stalin used, and then act like the population enjoys great prosperity, culture, faith, and joy. This is the point Obama missed by giving credibility to tyranny and allowing the executive office to be used to further characterize Communism as something deserving equal standing among free nations.

Instead Obama acted as though his visit would bring sweeping change to Cuba because he truly believes that every president since Eisenhower has been wrong about Castro. So hurry out and build your business in Havana, but don’t unpack your suitcase too quickly as you might be heading back to the states’ sooner than you think.

After all, as Cuban dictator, Castro “nationalized” American businesses in 1956 and confiscated all the property and assets and that continuing dictatorship can do so again.

Syria’s New Allie in Its ‘Civil War’

North Korea might be a larger threat to the U.S. and world safety than we’re being lead to believe by the Obama Administration or our compliant national media.  After all, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s newest ally is now the so-called ‘hermit nation.’

And this isn’t the first time that there have been reports of soldiers from that country being involved in the conflict, as in 2013, the Saudi-owned Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Cholma-1 and Cholma-7 were in Syria, to provide logistical and planning support.  Also in 2013, the former president of the Syrian National Council claimed North Korean pilots were flying in the Syrian Air Force, followed a year later by UK-based Jane’s Defense Weekly reporting North Korea was assisting in improving Syria’s missile capabilities.

North Korea and Syria have had a military relationship since the late 1960’s. That involvement includes providing advisers and air defense troops immediately after the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel and stretches to the modern era, when North Korea is believed to have provided technology used to help build the secret al-Kibar nuclear site in Syria, which was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in 2007.

North Korean soldiers can gain valuable combat experience which, among other things, can help teach future infantry tactics of the Korean People’s Army. Second, the North Korean military can also gain insights into irregular warfare tactics as practiced by the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah, and Iranian forces in Syria.

Last, the battlefield in Syria can provide North Korean officers with insights how its own Soviet-era equipment would do in a war against U.S. military hardware.

North Korean authorities have denied any military involvement in the past, with state news agency KCNA reporting in 2013 that ‘foreign media’ were ‘floating misinformation.’ But with North Korea being cash-strapped, the country’s leadership increasingly sends it’s ‘citizens’ abroad to earn foreign money, who often work as ‘forced labor.’

None of this seems all that far-fetched once you learn that last September Syria dedicated a park to former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. The ceremony was held to mark the 70th anniversary of forming the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Hillary Talks UFO’s and Marijuana

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she wants to know if there are any alien’s being hidden at Area 51 in Nevada. She made the remarks during an appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

“I would like us to go into those files and hopefully make as much of that public as possible,” Clinton said. “If there’s nothing there, let’s tell people there’s nothing there.”

Kimmel then asked what she would do if she discovered sensitive information.

“Well, if there is something there, unless it’s a threat to national security, I think we ought to share it with the public,” she said.

In January, Clinton vowed to “get to the bottom” of Area 51 and rumors of UFOs and aliens. Her campaign manager John Podesta apparently has put her up to doing so.

A former Clinton White House chief of staff and, more recently, special counselor to President Obama, Podesta has advocated for the release of UFO files from the federal government. Prior to being named as Clinton’s campaign head, he publicly tweeted, “My biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the disclosure of the UFO files.”

“He has made me personally pledge we are going to get the information out,” Clinton said. “One way or another. Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51.”

UFO researchers once suspected the military base housed captured aliens and their spacecraft. It’s now known that Area 51 is where much of America’s stealth technology’s developed.

The CIA publicly acknowledged its existence for the first time in 2013. In response to a Freedom of Information Request, the agency released a document stating the U-2 and other technology’s tested there.

It’s being hammed up by our nationally compliant media as it again sidesteps the more important topic of legalizing marijuana which lead up to the tin-foil hat discussion of life on other plants and secrets in the Nevada desert.

“I think what the states are doing right now needs to be supported,” Clinton said, “There are still a lot of questions we have to answer at the federal level. What I’ve said is, let’s take it off what’s called the ‘schedule one,’ and put it on a lower schedule and actually do research about it.”

She went on to acknowledge “some great evidence about what marijuana can do for people” when it comes to cancer, chronic disease and intense pain.

My New ‘Old’ Cowboy Hat

Earlier in the week I left the house without a cover – that is to say a hat. At the time I didn’t know I’d be spending nearly eight-hours outside under the sun.

So I decided to hustle across the parking lot from where I was having Mary’s car repaired to the Goodwill Bargain Bin store. I figured they’d have to have a baseball cap or something along those lines to help me keep my head from getting sunburned.

010

But they didn’t have a single cap on hand. Instead, I ended up getting an old beaten-to-death cowboy-style hat for a buck – since it was better than nothing.

Though after seeing my refection in a window and thinking I looked ‘plain goofy,’ it got the job done. And I’ve since decided to keep it after finding on inside the hat, embossed in the leather sweat band, “Ponderosa Ranch, Lake Tahoe, Nevada.”

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It’s a place that no longer exists — except in re-runs on television.

Moral Law verses Governmental Rule

We are losing our souls by failing to recognize that individual liberty does not come from a government, nor from being categorized. It is an evil that needs to be fought back against as it has grown out of hand.

A 6-year-old girl was removed from the California home of the foster family she has lived with for four years because she has a tiny sliver of Native American blood in her. Lexi was then she was sent to live with extended family in Utah after her relatives invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICDA,) asking for her to be removed from the home.

The Page family fought efforts under ICDA to place Lexi with relatives of her father, who is a Native American, arguing that Lexi had lived with them since the age of 17-months and knew no other life. However, a California court found that the Page family “had not proven by clear and convincing evidence that it was a certainty the child would suffer emotional harm by the transfer.”

She will live with a Utah couple who are not Native Americans but related by marriage to her father, through an unrelated Uncle.

(I know that had this happened to my child, I’d be dead today, shot and killed, because I’d have come out of the house blasting away at those I would have considered kidnapping my son.)

For me it was a return to my teenage years when the ICDA of 1978 was passed. I was against it back then because of the legal warning at the bottom of papers issued the government that read “federal law prohibits discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.”

Nearly 40-years later, I believe the same law applies to this situation — yet the government continues obfuscate the law. And it’s only gotten worse as we now have at least 40 groupings of people recognized by the feds – including age, ancestry, color, religious creed, denial of family and medical care leave, disability (mental and physical) including HIV and AIDS, marital status, medical condition (cancer and genetic characteristics,) genetic information, military and veteran status, national origin (including language use restrictions,) race, sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding,) gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

Worse yet is the fact that the national compliant media remained largely silent as this event unfolded. Had this been a gay couple losing this child to a straight family they would have been all over it like ‘white on rice.’

Sad.

Aren’t you and I the same when all is said and done? After all, I bleed red when cut like you do and yet we have an out-of-control federal government that’s bent on dividing you and me, making it easier for them to control when push comes to shove.

(This is also one of the many steps the Nazi’s used in the subjugation of the Jews and other so-called ‘undesirables.’)

We must ask ourselves: Do we follow government rule for the sake of government rule – or do we temper those rules with moral law? And I think, “Do unto others as you wish to be done unto,” is a damned good place to start.

Obama Screws Nevada Environmentalists

A recently created national monument designed to ‘safeguard’ a huge piece of central Nevada is about to get a new oil well. The Bureau of Land Management says Nevada’s biggest oil producer can drill in the Basin and Range National Monument designated by President Obama in July 2015.

Makoil plans to sink a well 7,500 feet deep in search of oil in a dry lake bed in Lincoln County. The BLM issued the company a 10-year oil lease after it applied for a permit to drill in July 2014, a year before Obama designated the monument using his executive authority under the Antiquities Act.

That means the agency’s bureaucrats knew in advance that oil drilling was to occur within the monuments boundaries. It is hard not to chuckle — at least a little after all the crowing environmentalist did after Obama signed the order.

“Permanent protection allows current outdoor recreation and current valid land use such as grazing, to continue,” Friends of Nevada Wilderness proclaimed after the designation, adding, “In addition, the Bureau of Land Management will be prevented from selling any land or granting permits for oil or mineral prospecting in order to preserve wildlife habitat, archaeological sites and other natural and cultural resources in the region.”

It’s actually kind of fun to watch environmental wackos get screwed by the Obama Administration. Now, if only Nevada would screw over the BLM, kicking them out of the state using Article I, Sec. 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution.

Chinese Communist Move Into Cuba with U.S. Blessing

“Be careful what you wish for lest it come true…” –old Chinese proverb

Last week, the Treasury Department granted Starwood Hotels permission to sign a multi-million-dollar deal with the Castro regime in Cuba, all the while knowing that the Anbang Insurance Group, which has very close ties to the Communist party, had bought the chain.  The company’s Chairman’s married to the granddaughter of China’s former leader and one of its directors is the son of a Communist Revolution-era top general.

Starwood Hotels is the parent company of such hotels as Sheraton, Westin and the St. Regis. And Anbang has been on a buying spree, purchasing the Waldorf Astoria in New York and Guaranty Life Insurance in Des Moines, Iowa.

Over the last 20 years, Starwood has given $12 million to lobbyists in Washington D.C. and $1.2 million to both Republicans and Democrats. In 2012, Starwood gave $14,000 directly to Obama’s re-election campaign, while only $1,500 to Mitt Romney’s.

During the 2014 campaign cycle, Starwood gave $440,000 to lobbyists and more than $71,000 to campaigns, with more than $50,000 going directly to Democrats. To adding the obvious crony capitalism — four of the six lobbyists working for Starwood Hotels previously held jobs with the federal government.

This means the Obama administration gave permission for a Communist Chinese hotel chain to do business as an American company in Communist Cuba.

“¿Que bolá Cuba? (What’s up, Cuba?)

President Obama speaks of the Castro brothers as if they were long-time friends, but there was no pomp and circumstance and Obama wasn’t greeted by either Castro brother like Raul did when Pope Francis visited. It leaves Obama looking like that proverbial school kid searching for acceptance anywhere he can find it.

But that isn’t the saddest of it — civil liberties, that we take for granted in the U.S, are taking a back seat to commercial interests in Cuba.

Shortly before Air Force One landed, the Policía Nacional Revolucionaria arrested 50 members of the Ladies in White movement, established more than a decade ago by wives and relatives of political prisoners, following the disruption of their march. They march each Sunday after Mass and usually get arrested and detained for hours or days.

But, some thought Cuban authorities would back off out of respect for Obama’s visit. But despite dozens of witnessing reporters, the group was quickly rounded up, loaded onto buses and into police cars and whisked away to Havana’s Combinado del Este.

Meanwhile, before his trip, the White House promised Obama would raise the issue of human rights in Cuba, even though the Castro’s insists that domestic politics are “off the table.”

“The difference here is that in the past, because of certain U.S. policies, the message that was delivered in that regard either overtly or implicitly suggested that the U.S. was seeking to pursue regime change; that the U.S. was seeking to essentially overturn the government in Cuba; or that the U.S. thought that we could dictate the political direction of Cuba,” U.S. deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said.

The Castro regime however is very sensitive to U.S. criticism of its human rights record – as seen most recently when its diplomats criticized Washington during a UN Human Rights Council session, advising Obama to improve human rights at home, declaring, “As President Castro said, we will not renounce our ideas or independence or social justice, nor will we set aside any of our principles.”

This isn’t surprising as this is the same regime that celebrates a murderous thug by the name of Che Guevara as a national hero. But then — he’s also celebrated by University students all over the U.S. — so go figure.

There’s More to the Realignment of U.S. Highway 50 Than Meets the Eye

The United Nations is still making inroads around Lake Tahoe with its environmental programming. Agenda 21 is a form of radical environmentalism that states humanity is destroying the planet, and the goal should be to create a world where literally everything humans do is to be tightly monitored and controlled in the name of “sustainable development.”

In their vision, the human population will be greatly reduced and human activity to be limited to strictly regulated urban areas and travel corridors, while of the planet is be left to nature. And to prove how sneaky the planning and execution of these plans are, they’re often couched in banal terms like ‘economic development’ or ‘community revitalization.’

One such ‘community revitalization project’ involves creating a new road allowing drivers to bypass the downtown area in Stateline, Nevada.  This proposal “realigns the current four lanes of U.S. Highway 50 along Lake Parkway East behind Harrah’s, Montbleu, and the Village Shopping Center, converting the current road along the business and casino corridor into two lanes with turn pockets,” reconnecting at Pioneer Trail in California.

The Tahoe Transportation District’s own webpages boast:

  • “No longer a federal highway, this area could be closed off and used as an outdoor mall for special events.”
  • “For residents, Relocation Assistance could include completely remodeled and refurbished housing or placement in housing comparable in condition, size and market value.’”
  • “Reducing conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians, created by congestion in the commercial core and use of the residential back street shortcut.”
  • And of course the ever-present promise of, “Providing construction jobs and increasing materials sales locally with the renovations.”

What these ‘officials’ are not talking about is why this needs doing. The answer: “Lessening environmental impact with reduced vehicle emissions and better storm water treatment,” as the website states.

They don’t care about how this new roadway affects businesses. No — this is ‘all about nature before man.’

All this falls directly in line with ‘Agenda 21,’ as more of the lake shore becomes unavailable to motorized vehicles, pets and development and planning becomes more centered on ‘foot traffic’ and ‘bicycle lanes.’ This $75 billion bypass idea was first proposed back in 1980, but shot down because it posed an economic death-blow to Stateline.

Odd, how what is old is new yet again.

The Rabbit Hole of Presidential Power

There are over 7,300 legislators, 3,100 counties and parishes, plus another 36,000 municipal governments and townships and their offices across this nation that we should be focusing on daily. Unfortunately, we spend the majority of our compliant media-driven time bickering about a person, who when elected to the Office of the Presidency, does not have the power to change anything.

We have somehow lost our perspective on exactly how important that particular office really is to our Constitutional Republic. The U.S. Constitution has the only official ‘job description’ for the President of the United States.

These are the highlights:

  • The president is the commander-in-chief of the military.
  • The president is responsible for insuring that the laws passed by Congress are executed and enforced as written.
  • The president can grant pardons for crimes other than impeachment.
  • The president can also make treaties, but only if two-thirds of the Senate agrees to the terms of those treaties.
  • The president can nominate ambassadors, Supreme Court justices, and other officers — most commonly cabinet secretaries and federal judges.  But he can only nominate them.  Again, the Senate has final approval on any nominations.
  • Must report to Congress from time to time about the state of the union and recommend whatever measures he thinks are necessary.

Furthermore, his position isn’t the ‘Leader of the Free World,’ and though he is Commander-in-Chief of the military, he is by no means the ‘U.S.’s top leader’ as a quick of Google check would have one believe. And contrary to Wikipedia’s claim, “The office of the president holds significant hard and soft power both in the United States and abroad,” it does not.

In the end, his so-called ‘hard and soft power’ remains within the purview of the U.S. Senate. And no where in the U.S. Constitution does it call the president our “leader.”

And as for the Senate and the House, we must stop calling them our “leaders,” as well, because we do not answer to them. They are our representatives and should be reminded of the fact that they answer to us.

By Ignoring the 12th Amendment, Your Vote is Being Ignored

A Republican National Committee’s Rules Committee member named Curly Haugland has let the proverbial ‘cat out of the bag.’ He says it’s the party who will decide who the GOP nominee will be, not the voters.

“The media have created the perception that the voters will decide the nomination,” said Haugland stated, “That’s the conflict here. The political parties choose their nominees, not the general public, contrary to popular belief.”

“The rules haven’t kept up,” Haugland said. “The rules are still designed to have a political party choose its nominee at a convention. That’s just the way it is. I can’t help it. Don’t hate me because I love the rules.”

“You have groups of people who are going to try to take over the rules committee,” he warned. “That could totally change everything, and mess things up with the delegates. And people across the country will be very frustrated.”

It’s important to note in all of this that the rules governing the convention itself are subject to change: A 112-member convention rules committee will meet at the start of the event and will be able to revise and set at least some of its own rules. Its members — one man and one woman from each state and territory — each elected by their peers.

Haugland has proposed a change in rules that would allow any candidate who earned at least one delegate to be submitted for nomination on the floor. That would sweep away requirements that, for the moment, precludes either Ted Cruz or John Kasich — or any of the candidates who collected delegates before dropping out of the race — from qualifying for the nomination under Rule 40, which requires a candidate to have the majority of delegates from at least eight states.

So far, the proportional allocation of delegates means front-runner Donald Trump is the only candidate to have met this mark. He has met the requirement in 11 states; Cruz has done so in just four, despite victories in 10 states.

Its time to get all political parties out of the electoral college and return it to its U.S. Constitutional standard as provided by Amendment 12 which reads in part:

“The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate…”

1974 Jury Acquits Axe Killer

While  the name Spott is important when discussing Yurok tribal  and Del Norte history in general, there is one story about the Spott name that remains folded in history. It’s the brief story of Seeley Lane Spott’s death at the age of 33.

Brief because only a few news articles mentioning either man. This includes one in which  Seeley pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license and was placed on probation for one year, while a 10-day jail sentence was suspended as well as pleading guilty to a charge of disturbing the peace and being fined $125 for the offense in December 1969.

Seeley disappears from the public record until January 9, 1974, when he was killed sometime between 4-5 a.m., that Wednesday morning, having been stuck in the head with a small, long-handled chopping axe. His body was found, at 8 a.m., in the street near his home on Nickel Avenue in Crescent City, by a 10-year-old girl on her way to school.

Arrested the same day at his Roy Avenue home only four blocks away and held for  murder was an unemployed logger, 22-year-old Antone ‘Tony’ F. Martin Jr.  Del Norte County Sheriff Tom Lowry said the departments investigation revealed that a heated argument occurred at Spott’s home before the slaying.

Less than three-months later and after a three-week trial, a Del Norte Superior Court jury acquitted Tony of the axe slaying om March 30. His defense attorney James McKittrick had contended the death of Seeley was an act of self-defense.

According to retired Del Norte County Sheriff’s detective Richard Williams, in his 2007 book, “Mass Murder, The Ship Ashore Killings,” McKittrick later shared after the trial an insight about Tony “as being cold inside without any real regrets or feelings about his ax murder of Sealey (sic) Spott.”

Tony died July 18, 2003, at the age of 53 in Hillsboro, Oregon following a bicycle accident. He was living in Grants Pass, Oregon at the time.

Born October 28, 1951, in Corvallis, Tony was a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was a logger and construction worker, and labored for several years at the Portland shipyards.

My Mom’s Portuguese Sweet Anise Bread

Tucked between two letters Mom had written me years ago, I found her recipe jus’ in time for Easter. It is one of those pleasant surprises that seem to come from out of nowhere. This was one of my childhood favorites growing up in Klamath, where I’d smother a warm slice in butter and eat it with an icy-cold glass of milk.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1-1/2 tsp margarine or unsalted butter
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp anise seed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Combine flour, sugar, milk, egg, butter, baking powder, anise and cinnamon.
Mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into greased 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Bake about 45 to 55 minutes.
Bread will puff and top may crack.
Cool five minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes one loaf

The Feds’ Extracurricular Unconstitutional Rules

To paraphrase an old line from a Humphrey Bogart movie, “Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution!” — especially when every federal agency in our U.S. government has an extracurricular set of unconstitutional rules by which it operated.

During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on March 8, Senator Cory Gardner asked if Congress approved the U.S. State Department’s diversion of $500 million to the UN’s Green Climate Fund. Deputy Secretary Heather Higgenbottom bluntly addressed the GOP senators’ accusation.

“Did Congress authorize the Green Climate Fund? No,” she replied.

Higginbottom also insisted they were not required to let Congress know about the transfer from the Economic Support Fund (ESF) saying, “We have reviewed our authorities and made a determination that we can make this payment to the Green Climate Fund. We do not believe we are in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, and clearly our lawyers and others have looked at our authorities and our abilities to do this.”

The ESF is a part of the U.S. Foreign Assistance program and has ranged from $2.5 billion in 2001 to $4.7 billion in 2015.  Yet the State Department managed to find half-a billion dollars to hand over to the UN without any accounting as to the monies use.

Garner then asked Higginbottom how the administration was able to divert and reprogram funds to meet Obama’s pledge.

“We reviewed the authorities and opportunities available to us to do that, and believe we are fully compliant with that,” she said. “I’ll be happy to follow-up with you and your staff.”

It’s clear that departmental rules are replacing the constitutional requirement that only Congress can appropriate money as stated in the U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1 which reads, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time ‘the rules’ superseded the U.S. Constitution and it isn’t going to be the last.

Speculation Leads to Gun Rights Violation

Seventy-four-year-old Ralph Gilbertsen is not a felon or domestic abuser, and has never been ruled dangerous to others, despite being ‘mildly bipolar,’ but Richfield Police in Minnesota confiscated his firearms anyway. He also has a concealed carry permit holder, which means he passed the in-depth background check required to get such a permit.

The retired Marine believes in Bigfoot, UFOs and thinks the government is spying on him.

“A lot of people believe these things, but they don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “I could see people being skeptical if I was saying something really outlandish, like space aliens with big heads were visiting me every night. But nobody can believe the CIA is squeaky clean. The people who think these things can’t happen, I think they’re the ones living in Alice-in-Wonderland world.”

It’s a fact that the National Security Agency is collecting electronically transmitted data on the American people and storing it in Utah.

His belief’s came to the attention of authorities in 2015 after his apartment manager expressed concern to the Hennepin Community Outreach for Psychiatric Emergencies (COPE). Following a complaint, COPE called police to escort them to Gilbertsen’s apartment, where they confiscated a .40-caliber pistol, a .357 magnum and a .22 revolver.

His attorney Paul Baertschi says the police took away a citizen’s guns simply because of his beliefs.

“He’s what some people would say is a conspiracy theorist. It is an unusual situation,” Baertschi said. “But really, the police acted unilaterally in deciding that a person who has these beliefs can’t be trusted with a gun. And so they just took them, without a warrant.”

“Officers are often forced to make snap judgments about an individual’s mental health,” Richfield Police Department spokesman Lt. Mike Flaherty said, “The street cops nowadays have to be a psychologist. People don’t wear nameplates saying ‘paranoid schizophrenic.’ So the police have to go in there and make judgment calls.”

There is a huge difference between bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia.

Minnesota law allows the seizure of firearms on mental health grounds only if an individual has been committed to a mental institution or has been ruled by a judge to be a public danger. That requires a legal finding that the person has tried to harm others or that there’s “a substantial likelihood” of harmful behavior.

SCOTUS ‘Court Rules’ Deny ‘Redress”

Justice Antonin Scalia died February 13, 2016 and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts acted swiftly, waiting less than a day after the EPA’s response brief to side with the Obama administration dismissing an earlier 5-4 ruling SCOTUS ruling that President Obama’s global warming regulations are illegal. Worse yet, he acted unilaterally, electing to reject the request himself, and not take it to the full court, which may have led to a 4-4 split.

Roberts rejected the request of 20 states to stay the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards rule, adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency three years ago. This means the regulation remains in effect while a legal battle continues over whether the EPA properly weighed costs and benefits in drafting the controversial regulation.

The administration’s initiative, which is still in the planning stages, requires states to develop plans for shifting away from fossil-fuel power plants in favor of alternative forms of energy. It also aims at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide at existing plants by about a third by 2030.

The Clean Power Plan is an essential part of Obama’s pledge to cut the country’s contribution to global warming, because the electric-power sector of the economy supposedly emits 30 to 40 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases. Under the EPA plan, states can draw up their own plans or choose the agency’s plan.

Such action on the part of Roberts is exactly how you and I have lost control over our liberty. Rather than side with the States in this case, he sided with an unconstitutional agency of the federal government; the EPA in this situation.

The Tenth Amendment makes it very clear that the powers not given to the United States, belongs to the states or to the people. That means you and I are to be the final arbiters over our sovereignty, not the EPA, the SCOTUS or the state.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to C. Hammond, July 1821: When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated …

In this case, Jefferson was talking about King George III and the arbitrary rules he forced upon the Colonies before the War for Independence. Sadly, the SCOTUS, and Roberts in particular, are operating under another set of ‘arbitrary rules’ aptly named “Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

And while not unconstitutional, they do deny the plaintiffs in this case their constitutional right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” as stated in the First Amendment. because should the states file again, the SCOTUS won’t hear the argument because Roberts has already ruled on it.

Another Social Media Troll

Here’s one of the many social media trolls I put up with on a daily basis. This guy recieves my postings on Facebook only because he’s a friend of a friend from high school — otherwise I don’t know him from Cain.

Abel Morris: Tom Darby yesterday your post mocked Trump before his rally! Now your (sic) knocking a moron who rushed at Trump while giving a speech. How about you make your mind up (sic.)

Me: How about you stop worrying about what I do or don’t do!

Abel Morris: Your stupid shit comes across my news feed! If you don’t want criticism don’t preach stupid shit!

Me: You can block my stuff if you don’t want it on your feed. Once again — worry about your shit — not mine.

Abel Morris: I’m not worried about it! I was pointing out how hypocritical you are! LOL have a nice day (sic.)

I ended up helping him avoid my ‘stupid shit’ on his ‘news feed; I blocked his ass.

It’s interesting that people find it easy to name call and be critical of others whom they don’t know, especially through social media. I doubt that even two-percent of those who are rude to me would do so in person.

Spinning Racism in a Restaurant

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen entered a Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant in Roseville, Minnesota to have dinner in celebration of Allen’s birthday. In addition to its food, the seafood chain is known for the eclectic decor at its eateries.

But when Williams and Allen sat down at their table, they noticed this old photo that was laid under the glass tabletop titled “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12th, 1895.” A text bubble above the man being hanged reads, “All I said was, ‘I didn’t like the gumbo!’”

My first thoughts were jokes as poor in taste as the text bubble: “Come in for the hoods and robes, stay for the crab legs,” or “Hang around for the seafood gumbo,” and “Get a healthy bowl of racism with every Southern Style Catfish served.” But then, even though it was 121-year’s ago, joking over the death of a man, whether a convicted murderer or not isn’t in very good taste.

Instead of moving to another table or going else where for their lunch Allen and Williams had to make a mountain out of a molehill.

“We will no longer be eating at any Joe’s Crab Shack that supports White Supremacy and racism,” said Williams.

“They are trying to make a joke out of our black bodies being lynched and I had a real problem with that,” said Allen of the picture.

Her opinion was shared by Austin, Texas’ Black Lives Matter affiliate in a Facebook posting, “They actually used a real lynching photo.”

Unfortunately, because ignorance (or perhaps stupidity abounds) it has to be pointed out this wasn’t a lynching. It was an execution.

On May 3, 1894, a pioneer resident of Groesbeck, James Garrett McKinnon, was beaten to death with a stone and robbed. Richard Burleson was arrested for murder, tried and convicted and on April 12, 1895 the 21-year old man was legally hanged.

A great-grandson McKinnon’s researched the case and said Burleson was a freed slave who robbed his grandfather of a $20 gold piece. The two had been seen together earlier in the day.

“James offered Burleson a ride in his wagon, Burleson accepted, then clubbed James over the head with a rock,” Tom McKinnon of Arizona wrote of his research.

Prior to his execution, the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas even took up his case, upholding his conviction in the end.

Ignite, the Houston-based corporate parent of the Crab Shack chain, issued a written apology and the table removed: “We take this matter very seriously, and the photo in question was immediately removed. We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image.”

However, the apology is “not enough,” Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said. She’s now pressuring the chain to make a donation to an organization focused on African-American youth.

So maybe a hefty cash infusion will wash away the ‘White guilt’ and the sins of the ‘White fathers,’ since James Garrett McKinnon life was only worth a $20 gold piece when Burleson caved his head in.

The Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terrorism Act of 2016

Secretive legislation ‘designed’ to help local law enforcement fight terrorism with the aid of the federal government has been introduced. H.R. 4401, the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terrorism (ALERT) Act of 2016, allows “federal law enforcement to train and work closely with state and local law enforcement in using the most effective tactics and methods to counter terrorism.”

This legislation was passed by the House Homeland Security Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 11 bipartisan cosponsors — including five Democrats and six Republicans.

But there’s more to this including terms within this bill that must be highlighted. For instance, the term “violent extremism” means “ideologically motivated international terrorism or domestic terrorism,” as defined in section 2331 of title 18, United States Code.

“International terrorism” reads the section, is “activities that involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State.” Furthermore, the term “domestic terrorism” means “activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State.

Both involve an act to “appear to be intended” (which means to give the impression of being in a certain way) to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”  But then the federal government’s view of “ideology” as shown in the U.S. Air Force’s July 2011 ‘0910 Equal Opportunity and Treatment Incidents’ lesson plan remains questionable:

“As noted, an ideology is a set of political beliefs about the nature of people and society. People who are committed to an ideology seek not only to persuade but to recruit others to their belief. In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

Finally, there’s the 2012 document, “Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism,” produced by the ‘National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism,’ in which the following characteristics are used to identify (domestic) terrorists:

“Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack; Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”; People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty); Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”; Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”; People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

The report also lists people opposed to abortion and “groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers,” Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, or own gold and even people who fly a U.S. flag as terrorists. Oh, and don’t forget the FBI says using cash to pay for a cup of coffee is suspicious.

FCC Democrats Caved to Obama on Net Neutrality

A case challenging ‘net neutrality’ is making its way through the courts, and it’s revealing some interesting information. For example documents show that while the Federal Communications Commission was creating the regulation — it was working with the Obama administration, keeping it abreast with where it was in the process.

As this continues, Senator and Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ron Johnson released a report titled, “Regulating the Internet: How the White House Bowled over FCC Independence.”  In it, he highlights problems in the process by which the agency arrived at its net neutrality order, being litigated in federal court.

In 2014, after being overruled in court, the FCC had an open hearing to again consider how to carry out net neutrality.   However, shortly after the 2014 elections, President Obama urged the FCC to “implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”

In particular, he wanted the FCC to unilaterally assert authority over Internet service providers (ISP) under Title II of the Communications Act, which allows for the regulation of “common carriers” as public utilities. The report points to evidence of a “pause” and a change in the FCC’s course after the President’s comments.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and staff were finishing work on a different approach in November 2014 before Obama’s comments. However, shortly afterwards, Wheeler instructed his staff to draft an order following the President’s proposal of a Title II reclassification.

This rule prohibits ISP’s from charging for legal content flow through their networks. To enforce this, the FCC reclassified broadband as a more highly regulated telecommunications service.

Obama appointed Wheeler, a Democrat, as FCC chairman. The agency’s Democratic majority pushed through the regulations by a 3-2 vote in February 2015.

Details of the report also include the fact that before the White House’s announcement in support of Title II reclassification, the staff worked over the weekend to provide Wheeler with a draft Open Internet Order, adopting a “hybrid approach,” to be considered on the FCC’s December 2014 Open Meeting, but after Obama’s statement there was confusion and the rapid timetable for completing the draft Open Internet Order was “paused.”

The FCC employees also raised concerns about following proper notice-and-comment rules, as required under the Administrative Procedure Act. They advised that the record to support Title II reclassification was lacking and needed more public comments, but despite this, the agency chose not to seek additional public comment, and proceeded with the president’s preferred policy outcome.

Finally, over the course of the committee’s investigation, the FCC refused to provide key responsive documents. Moreover, in the e-mails provided to the committee show there was an attempt by some to thwart transparency and avoid ex-parte filings.

In the end, net neutrality isn’t neutral at all. Instead it is a ‘play on words,’ meant to abridge free Internet commerce and a violation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Mouse That Came for Coffee

About a week before the Disney Store permanently closed its doors at Meadowood Mall, I went to see what they had for sale. That’s where I found a very unique looking Mickey Mouse coffee mug.

Since I consider this mug to be somewhat special, I don’t often use it. Beside, it’s so large that I generally have to heat the coffee in it a number of times because it goes cold too quick.

Anyway, recently I decided to use it and after filling it up I went out side to enjoy a little sunshine and to play fetch with the dogs. Half an hour later I came in the house and sat down at my computer to do some research and to write.

Two-hours later I stopped to reheat my cup of coffee, only to discover I couldn’t find it. I searched all through the house looking for, even checking in the microwave, the cupboards and the refrigerator-freeze, jus’ in case I had a brain-fart and set it down in one of those places.

But my search turned up nothing. While still vexed, I decided to grab another cup and pour myself some more coffee and return to my computer.

The following day I again took up the search for the missing mug; even digging through the kitchen trash can and the large green monster in the garage. Still I couldn’t find it.

By the second day I had pretty much put it’s disappearance out of my head, telling myself it would suddenly show up when I wasn’t looking for the damned thing.

Three days after I had last seen it, I went outside to see what the dogs were up too as sometimes their quietness makes me think they are up to no good. As I stepped out on the back porch, I noticed my Mickey Mouse cup sitting on the fence rail – right where I suddenly remembered placing it.

“Doh!” as Homer Simpson would say.

Happy that it really wasn’t lost, I walked over and picked it up. It was still half full of coffee as well as something else.

A little set of eyes peered up at me as I held the cup. A small mouse had fallen into the coffee cup and it was dog-paddling for all that it was worth.

Squatting on the cement pad and gently tipping the cup on its side, I dumped both the cold coffee and exhausted mouse out onto the concrete. At first I thought the strain of swimming to keep it’s head above the surface had proved to be too much; the mouse lay unmoving a my feet.

It was still breathing, but doing little else and I was sure that it was a goner. However after a few seconds it rolled over, stood up, shook itself (which looked more like a spasm than shaking) and scurried off into some dead leaved gathered at the base of our fence.

After taking the cup into the house and giving it a thorough washing, I couldn’t help smile at the fact that I had a real mouse swimming inside my Mickey Mouse coffee cup.

Eighteen Years Later and We’ve Learned Nothing

Minnesotans elected pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura as their governor in 1998. Ventura ran on the Reform Party platform, promising to cut the size and scope of government, class sizes and he supported public debate on legalized prostitution.

His governorship started out fine, but the economy took a downturn and the legislature turned its back on Ventura. Throwing a temper-tantrum, he started staying home, refusing to go to the capitol and badmouthing anyone who criticized him.

About two years later Ventura asked Donald Trump to run for president on the Reform Party ticket. Trump promised fair trade, universal health care and claimed Oprah Winfrey would be his ideal running mate.

Then in early February Ventura became angry with the Reform Party and withdrew from the faction. Shortly after, Trump ended his campaign as well.

The anger with Clinton Administration that brought Ventura to the governorship of Minnesota is identical to the anger American’s are feeling with the Obama Administration. They’re pissed at what’s happening and see nothing to lose by tossing out the old guard and embracing an untested one.

In the end, Ventura’s governorship didn’t work out because of the wish to seek some sort of retribution against those seen as having created the problem. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now and it will not work after January 2017.

As the saying goes, “A knight in shining armor is one whose metal has never been truly tested.”

Standing for the U.S. Constitution Means You’re a Domestic Terrorist

Domestic terror groups seem to pose a greater threat to the U.S. than Daesh (ISIS,) al Qaeda or the Taliban joined, according to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was in Portland on Thursday, bragging about the arrest of 19 political prisoners by her Department of Justice (DOJ.)

“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the American people and defending the rule of law,” said. Lynch. “Today’s actions make clear that we will not tolerate the use of threats or force against federal agents who are doing their jobs. We will continue to protect public land on behalf of the American people, uphold federal law, and ensure that those who employ violence to express their grievances with the government will be apprehended and held accountable for their crimes.”

Odd how she stated, “I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore,” but never made a single arrest in the situation, though there was news footage showing the unlawful actions.

And then of Ferguson, she declared: “The residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights, the rights guaranteed to all Americans, for decades. They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer,” as she announced plans to persecute the city’s police force.

Talk about turning things upside down and inside out. Yet it’s only getting worse as the DOJ, plans to combat the constitutionally abiding citizen by creating the ‘Domestic Terrorism Counsel.  Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who oversees national security at the DOJ, announced the new position that will coordinate the investigation and prosecution of so-called ‘anti-government and hate groups.’

In making his proclamation, Carlin pointed to such high-profile attacks as the racially motivated Charleston church shooting in June 2015 or the murder of two Las Vegas police officers by a white supremacist couple in June 2014. Unfortunately he failed to point out the violent rioting, the burning and looting that happened in both Ferguson and Baltimore.

To top that off, FBI Director James Comey is showing his complete ignorance of the U.S. Constitution  claiming, “Our democracy provides lawful ways individuals can respond if they disagree with their government, but if you resort to violence or threats, you will be held accountable under the law.”

First, we are a constitutional republic and secondly the federal government has no legal claim to land in Nevada or any other state. Finally, he appears to not care about the first or second amendments, which say we have the right to assemble peaceably, redress the government, speak out against heat same government and to use arms to protect and defend the Constitution for tyranny.

Meanwhile, 19 political prisoners remain charged with conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S. and conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer. They also face charges of  using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence; assault on a federal officer; threatening a federal law enforcement officer; obstruction of justice, interference with interstate commerce by extortion and interstate travel in aid of extortion.

So far not a single piece of evidence, like a picture or video has surfaced showing any of the people charged in this indictments acted in a threatening manner. On the other hand, there is a damning piece of video showing the murder of LaVoy Finicum, by unidentified agents of the federal government and the state of Oregon.

The government is creating a false narrative by changing what you and I know is right and true, parsing words and using the compliant media to spread it’s evil propaganda. The only way of putting a halt to such encroachment to our liberties is through the recognition of the state over the federal government and the people over the state as provided by Article 10 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

‘Area 6’ — Nevada’s Other Secret Site

Built in 2002, the complex of buildings include a large hangar with clam-shell doors at the southern end of an asphalt strip. The complex has no official name and not many people even know it’s there.

 

Known locally as ‘Area 6.’ the site has only fences and visitor checkpoints and seen from the Mercury highway at the northern end of Yucca Flat. But exactly what goes on at there remains top-secret.

In fact the National Nuclear Security Administration’s kept Area 6 at such a low profile that few defense industry experts are aware of its existence. The National Nuclear Security Administration is a semi-autonomous branch of the Energy Department with a Nevada field office, based in North Las Vegas.

A safety analysis of Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facilities, written by Bechtel SAIC, has a description of the airfield:

“The purpose of this facility is to construct, operate, and test a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles. Tests include, but are not limited to, air-frame modifications, sensor operation, and on board computer development. A small, manned chase plane is used to track the unmanned aerial vehicles…”

Area 6 activities include research and development of sensors for detecting explosive materials, deadly gases and chemicals, and radioactive sources that could be used in “dirty bombs.” The facility’s manned by at least 80 people, includes maintenance areas and is also used by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

Two DoE environmental studies say the base operates four to six UAV flights and two to four manned flights per day, flying mainly over the dry lake bed at altitudes under 12,000 feet. Furthermore, several classified Lockheed UAVs have been tested at airfields along the range, though which haven’t been disclosed.

Funding for Area 6 comes through the ‘Strategic Partnership Program,’ (SPP) which was part of the $84 million budgeted for the entire security site for the fiscal year 2015. In March 2010, President Obama spoke of SPP during the Export-Import Bank Annual Conference: “We’ll create public-private partnerships to help firms break into new markets with the help of those who have been there — shipping and supply-chain companies, for example.”

However, much of that SPP money comes from Defense Department branches including the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. So it leaves one to wonder — what sort of ‘public-private partnerships,’ are being forged in Nevada’s vast and under-populated desert?

George ‘C.J.’ Shotwell, 1979-2016

“We don’t meet people by accident. They’re meant to cross our paths for a reason,” goes the old saw.

C.J. Shotwell wasn’t here for very long, six or seven days, maybe. And to be honest, I didn’t really know him all that well as we only chit-chatted while out in Gary’s garage.

George 'C.J.' Shotwell

A hard-rock miner by trade, he’d arrived one late night after Gary drove to Winnemucca to pick him. He wanted to come to the Reno/Sparks area to quit drinking and drugging.

Every time I saw C.J., he was smiling and joking. But I could also tell that something was off – there was deep sadness and a hidden anger that he desperately tried to suppress.

After a few days, both C.J. and Gary knew it wasn’t working. And instead of checking into a rehab program offered through the Salvation Army, C.J. chose to return home and to his girlfriend.

Gary didn’t have the car that day, so he asked if I’d take C.J. down to the train station so he could catch the east bound Amtrak home. Since I was looking for something to do out of the ordinary, I said yes.

If C.J. happened to be disappointed in himself, I couldn’t tell. I shook his hand and wished him well as he climbed out my truck and grabbed the two bags from my pickups’ bed.

That was about three weeks ago — the last time I saw him. And it will be the last time too.

Sometime during the night of Thursday, March 3, when the Devil had him in his grip, C.J. found a secluded spot behind a motel and hanged his self. The following morning as the sun broke over Sonoma Peak, someone discovered his body.

His death has hit Gary and his wife Autumn pretty hard as they struggle to reach out to C.J.’s family to let them know what has happened. As for me, I’m thinking, reflecting and waiting to realize why we crossed paths.

Tonight, I say yet another prayer for C.J. – this time asking for God’s tender mercies.

The Federal Land Grab in Texas Continues

The Bureau of Land Management is claiming that a number of Texas ranches don’t actually belong to the ranchers, but rather to the federal government. This is in despite of each rancher having a deed for their property and having paid property taxes on the land each year.

The BLM’s claim — the land shouldn’t have been sold in the first place. However, at least one rancher, Ken Aderholt, isn’t giving up his property without a fight.

Aderholt’s family has lived and raised cattle on the land for the past 70 years. Yet in 2014, the rancher received a phone call from the BLM representative who claimed that 625 acres of his property actually belonged to the federal government.

 

The representative said the discovery was made when the government began “redefining” boundary lines along the Red River, which runs along the border between Oklahoma and Texas. So by redefining the boundary to half-a-mile inland, the change affects the size of Aderholt’s property.

Despite pointing out he has a deed showing he’s the owner the BLM’s still claiming they own the 625 acres adding that the Texas should never have produced that deed as it never belongs to the state. Now, the BLM says it plans to take his property from him ‘legally.’

The BLM hasn’t said what it’ll do with the land, but if history has shown us anything, it could be converted into public bird watching, horseback riding, or even be condemned. Furthermore, the BLM could lease the land back to Aderholt, or worse it could lease it to someone else entirely.

Remember, the federal government doe not have the right to act independent of the U.S. Constitution.

Sheriff Stops FDA from Giving Dairy a Raw Deal

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) harassed a dairy farmer and made several warrantless searches of his property all because he produced raw milk. It started after the farmer provided the raw milk to an organic food co-op, where participants paid money into the co-op and, in return, received the raw milk.

 

Elkhart County, Indiana Sheriff Brad Rogers became involved in the case in 2011 when the farmer complained to him. He emailed the Department of Justice (DOJ), writing:

“I understand that you have made recent requests to (the farmer) for documents and to appear before a grand jury, and he has had a number of inspections and attempted inspections on his farm within Elkhart County. This is notice that any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a judge, based on probable cause, will result in federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I.

In addition, if any further action is taken by the federal government on (the farmer), while he is in Elkhart County, I will expect that you or federal authorities contact my office prior to such action. I will expect you to forward this information to your federal associates, including the FDA.”

Shortly after sending the email, the farmer received a certified letter from the DOJ cancelling his grand jury subpoena. And no federal inspectors have visited the farm since 2011.

Rogers is a member of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.and been with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department for 27 years. He also practices what he preaches.

Pamela Jean Sadler, 1963-2016

It’s always difficult to lose a friend to death. My friend Pam Sadler died following an asthma attack and I can’t help but feel her loss.

Pam Sadler

We worked at the same radio company and only ever saw enough of each other long enough to say a simple hello, a nod or a smile as we passed each other. I was a part of the air staff, working nights and graveyard, while she worked in sales during the day.

So it is easy to see that we really had no chance of meeting — that is until chance intervened. It was the early morning hours of November 14, 2010 – I was working in the news room when I heard a noise coming from the sales office area.

Quietly, I walked into the maze of cubicles while listening to the sound of a woman softly crying. Near the farthest wall I found Pam, sitting at her desk with a tissue covering her eyes.

“Are you okay?” I asked as quietly as possible.

She jumped in her seat and let out an expletive adding, “You scared me!”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, asking again, “Are you alright?”

“Yes,” she said at first, quickly changing her answer, “No, I’m really frustrated.”

And that’s how I officially met Pam. We spent the next 15-20 minutes talking about life, work, children, hopes and dreams.

It was one of the best conversations I can ever recall having such a short time-span. I had to return to do the news at the top of the hour and she left for home, hoping to get a couple of hours of sleep before returning to work.

When I got home that morning, I switched on my computer to check my Facebook page. There I found this message waiting for me:

“Thank you again for talking with me this morning. It made me evaluate what I need to take care of and to take care of me for a change. I’m just going to focus on what I love to do and do my best at it. Thank you to my newest friend. This will be a conversation only held between you and me. By the way — sorry for making you nervous this morning. Have a good day and week. – Pam”

I’m so glad I saved that message – almost as happy about that as I’m sad that she’s gone from this earth.

Nevada AG Opposes New EPA Rules

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has filed a brief endorsing a multi-state legal fight against President Obama’s plan to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. The brief says only the states have the right to decide pollution emission standards.

“We are repeatedly seeing more federal regulation that is less tied to the actual text of the laws that federal agencies claim is the basis for their rules,” Laxalt said in a statement.

Environmentalists immediately criticized the filing. In fact , the group ‘Climate Parents’ claims Laxalt is choosing the interests of out-of-state coal corporations over the health of children, communities and the climate.

Called the Clean Power Plan, the rules limit carbon dioxide production starting in 2022 with the final goal in Nevada in 2030 of 855 pounds per megawatt-hour. Nevada’s expected to meet the target without difficulty, achieving a level of 578 pounds of carbon dioxide by that year by one estimate.

More than two dozen states are appealing the rules in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court put enforcement of the rules on hold pending the appeals process.

Meanwhile, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is downplaying the AG’s filing, claiming that “the attorney general is simply offering his legal opinion.”

The Esau Effect

As I sat reading Genesis 25 and 26 — the story of Esau and Jacob — a tiny thought crept its way into my brain and lodge itself there so it could fester. I went to bed thinking of the two brothers and their life-long struggle over birthrights and blessings and I awoke to the same come the next day.

There was a lesson in the story, but I had to find it before I could share it. I had to understand it before I could find the lesson and why the story had become so overwhelming to me.

It took me a week to winnow things out. In the end it came down to Esau, who also in the end lost both his birthright, first through stupidity and then secondly, his father’s blessing through trickery.

I’ve boiled it down to this: Have we lost our birthright because of our stupidity and are we about to lose our blessings from our Father due to trickery?

Since childhood, I’ve watched as the American people have given up their God-given rights without so much as a fuss or a whimper. In that same time I’ve witnessed our Constitutional Republic slip closer and closer to a democracy – which in the end is the greatest wish of the Anarchists.

(Democracy with a lower case ‘d’ is a social condition of classlessness and equality; Anarchy is a state of disorder due to the absence or non-recognition of authority. Thus democracy eventually falls away into anarchy due to the human condition.)

And every four years I’ve watched as candidates come and go, many providing pledges and services that they cannot hope to provide. Yet, the people fall for the trickery because of their stupidity.

As I see the juggernaut that is the Donald Trump campaign, I can’t help but see the pattern Esau fell for twice. First is the taking of our birthright, and then comes the taking of all our blessings.

Here is why I see it the way I do: Trump is not a part of the ‘establishment,’ an outsider to the Republican electoral processes and thus hated for his current success. However the people love him for his brash-outspokenness and ability to channel their anger from what they see as an injustice done to the nation they love.

Yet they are blind in my opinion to the back room deals being made to keep the king from the throne. Yes, I’m claiming that the Progressive Democratic Party and the Progressive Republican Party are working hand in hand with one another to prevent Trump from winning the presidency, because he’ll upset the ‘things as they are’ way of Washington D.C. politics and not in a good way.

Many people have mistaken Trump’s tough-talking rhetoric for strong American leadership, when in fact it is far from that of a leader. Plainly stated, Trump is an angry, narcissistic, bully of a man as shown by these selected comments:

• “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump told Iowa supporters.

• “I mean I had a rating – 68-percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder, I think it means anything, OK?” Trump said of his supporters during a rally in Sparks, Nevada.

• “I’d like to punch him in the face,” Trump said, about a man disrupting his rally the eve before the Nevada caucuses.

I cannot help think that anyone, big or small, who has ever crossed him in the slightest – especially during this campaign season — will be a target for his wrath should he be elected.

It isn’t hard to look back into the recent past of the 20th century to find a similar situation and to learn how it unfolded. Lutheran Preacher Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind was a Lutheran Pastor who was an influential critic of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.

He publicly spoke against the Nazi policy of euthanasia and the murder of Jews. The day Hitler became the Fuehrer, he had Bonhoeffer arrested and imprisoned and eventually executed in May 1945.

And before you accuse me of claiming Trump is the next Hitler, let me go on record to say that I do not believe for a second. I am simply using this historical reference to make my point that we are going down a road that can have no good outcome for America or her people.

Lastly, I’m not advocating voting for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. On the contrary as they are the antithesis of what America’s values are about: on the one hand you have a woman whose plagued by her own egotistical dishonesty while on the other you have a man who is an avowed Socialist, a believer in a system of governance that has led to the death of millions around the world.

Neither is a Constitutional candidate. But then again neither is Trump.

So how does the story of Esau turn out? Esau’s attitude is too common today as far too many cry out, “Give me what I want. I want it now. I want it regardless of its cost. Give me my indulgences — I do not care about the consequences!”

We are Esau and we’re about to suffer a horrible trick.

Progressive Politician Calls for Restricting Free Speech

Former Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore is criticizing the compliant media for giving free air time to Donald Trump. Gilmore also accused the Republican National Committee of outsourcing the debates to the networks, resulting in “a food fight that looks like the Jerry Springer show.”

“He also by the way said he didn’t have to spend any money because he gets all free broadcasting. And that’s what we’re doing right now. We’re giving him free time right now. And that’s an issue that has to be addressed in the future, as the FCC needs to address this problem of the free advertising they’re giving to selected candidates like Donald Trump,” Gilmore said.

As of February 20, the network evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted 51 percent of all their coverage of Republican candidates to Trump. Comparatively, the next two most covered candidates, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, received 25 and 10 percent of the coverage, respectively.

He also said he would support the eventual Republican nominee to avoid another Democrat in the White House.

“I intend to endorse and support the Republican candidate for president because the alternative is either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders,” she said, adding, “They’re both talking about giving away everything and not doing anything to grow the economy.”

Gilmore, a former governor of Virginia, ended his presidential campaign on February 12 after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, which is a good thing, seeing how he wants to restrict the First Amendment. It’s amazing how Progressive eventually show their true colors, isn’t it?

Arizona Fights Back Against Federal Gun Control

The Arizona House approved a measure on February 16 prohibiting the state from using resources, including people and funds, to enforce federal gun control laws. House Bill 2300 forbids state and local agencies from carrying out of any federal regulation restricting the right to own a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition.

Any federal action would be considered unconstitutional if it “infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution or that impairs that right in violation of Article 2, Section 26 of the Arizona constitution. It also bans the use of state assets or money in the enforcement of any forthcoming federal gun restrictions.

The bill has a provision designed to make sure local law enforcement doesn’t ignore it. It would bar state payments to cities and towns that don’t follow the enforcement ban and imposes civil and criminal penalties on violators.

Similarly, Senate Bill 1452, introduced on February 2, declares that “Any executive order or action that limits the rights guaranteed to a citizen of this state by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and that is not consistent with the constitutions of the United States and this state is an unlawful executive order or action and is not recognized in this state.”

Two other gun bills saw introduction,  including HB 2524 which allows Arizona to agree with other states not to put new restrictions on firearms transfers and HB 2338, which bars schools or universities from banning gun owners from carrying concealed weapons in their vehicles on public roads going through school property.

The legislation rests on the legal principle known as the anti-commandeering doctrine, based on four Supreme Court cases dating back to 1842 with Printz v. U.S. serving as the cornerstone. Simply put, the federal government cannot force states to help carry out or enforce any federal act or program.

The federal government relies heavily on state cooperation to carry out and enforce its regulations and by withdrawing the necessary cooperation, states can nullify many federal actions.

Death in a Debtor’s Prison Cell

He died in a Box Elder County, Utah jail cell shortly after being taken into custody, but Rex Iverson, 45, wasn’t there for a criminal act. He was there on a civil judgment — not paying an ambulance bill.

On Christmas Eve 2013, Iverson had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance. Unfortunately, because he was unemployed he couldn’t pay and in September 2014 a justice court small claims judgment against Iverson said had to pay the $2,376.92 bill.

When he couldn’t pay, he was arrested and jailed. The next day he was found dead in a holding cell.

At 1:10 pm, January 22, 2016, a deputy spoke with Iverson to find out if he would be able to post bail on the offense. When the deputy returned half an hour later to begin the booking process, Iverson was found unresponsive in the cell.

Iverson’s death is under investigation by the Northern Utah Critical Incident Investigative Team. So far foul play is not suspected.

Imprisoning someone because he or she cannot afford to pay a court-imposed fine or fee violates the Fourteenth Amendment of due process and equal protection under the law.

Section 1 reads in part:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

And because Iverson and other people like him are unemployed or don’t have the money to hire an attorney, and since “justice court” isn’t considered a “criminal court,” defendants are often left to the ‘mercy’ of the system and with our proper legal representation. This is clearly a violation of the Sixth amendment, which clearly states:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Like the late musician Frank Zappa asked in a 1991 Spin Magazine interview, “If you don’t know what your rights are, how can you stand up for them?”

The So-called Missing 13th

The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is far different than the one originally proposed. The current amendment abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude.

It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865 and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865 and reads as follows:

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, 36-years before the following note appeared on page 23, Vol. 1 of the ‘New York Revised Statutes:

“In the edition of the Laws of the U.S. before referred to, there is an amendment printed as article 13, prohibiting citizens from accepting titles of nobility or honor, or presents, offices, &c. from foreign nations. But, by a message of the president of the United States of the 4th of February, 1818, in answer to a resolution of the house of representatives, it appears that this amendment had been ratified only by 12 states, and therefore had not been adopted.

See Vol. IV of the printed papers of the 1st session of the 15th congress, No. 76.” In 1854, a similar note appeared in the Oregon Statutes. Both notes refer to the Laws of the United States, 1st vol. p. 73 (or 74).”

This so-called “missing” 13th Amendment reads as follows:

“If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive, or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under them, or either of them.”

What a different nation the U.S. might be had it been ratified.

Martin

There was something about the thin-armed, beer-bellied man as he walked along the sidewalk and passed the house. He had a thin, stringy beard and a severely receding hair line with the unkempt ends hanging over his tee-shirt collar.

“Good afternoon,” I called out.

“Good afternoon,” he replied as he continued up the street.

Yes. There was something that was vaguely familiar about the guy, but I couldn’t put my finger on it at the moment.

That night as I lay in bed hoping for sleep to overtake me, I thought about him again. Perhaps I’d seen him at the local Walmart or maybe the Save Mart – I couldn’t remember – but I knew I’d seen him someplace as I tend to recall faces all the time.

Then it hit me like a bolt out of the blue, a jarring memory that sent me sitting upright and absolved of all thought or want of sleep at that very moment. It was a stinging memory that I’d laid to rest years ago – but was suddenly walking through my neighborhood like a real Zombie.

“Martin,” I gasped.

He and I first crossed paths in early 1986. I’d been living in a boarding-house on Tripp Drive in Reno for a several months when Martin rented the room directly across from mine.

Martin was five years younger than me and because of this, his lack of body mass and extraordinarily hairless moustache on his upper lip, I considered him a kid. And as first impressions go, he set my alarm bell off as being a sneak.

And it didn’t take too long for my impression to prove itself out.

One Monday morning as I was leaving for work, I noticed my VW Bug’s front end pushed away from the curb. Furthermore, it had a nasty crack in the newly purchased fiberglass wheel well I’d recently installed.

Rushing back inside, I asked the landlord if she knew anything about what had happened to my car. She didn’t have a clue.

So, I went up stairs and knocked on Martin’s door. I told him about my car and he swore he had no knowledge of what had happened to cause the body damage.

Not wanting to be late for work, I drove off. However, I didn’t stop puzzling over the fact that my car was moved a good eight-inches from the curb and there was hefty crack in the body.

After work I drove home and parked in my usual spot. As I sat there it occurred to me that the landlord’s big old 1972 Chevy station wagon was recently moved.

Since she no longer drove, and the only time the ‘Beast’ as she called it moved was when I took her to the market to do her weekly shopping on Friday’s, I knew it had been driven. I had to find out by who, because I concluded that person had run the Beast’s bumper into my car.

“Did you take the car out?” I asked Ethel.

“No,” she answered, “You know I’m not allowed to drive anymore.”

“I know,” I replied, “But I had to ask. Anyone else drive your car since Friday evening?”

“No one,” she returned, “The keys are in my purse like always.”

Two days later, as I came in the front door and headed for the stairs, Ethel stopped me and in a near whisper told me, “Patsy from next door told me she saw someone she didn’t recognize driving the car late Sunday night. She described Martin.”

“So, do you want him out, because I’ll kick his ass down the stairs and out the front door, right now?” I asked.

“No. You can’t do that,” she countered, “I can’t very well simply accuse him of taking my car with proof. But do keep an eye on him.”

By now my rage was seething slightly below explosive. All I need was an excuse to pop him up along side of the head and drag him outside and give him a real smack down. I didn’t have to wait very long.

One evening I returned home from working overtime to discover my door unsecured. Every morning before I left the house I pulled it hard and rattled the knob to make certain it was locked.

As I pushed the door open, I looked around the room, but could find nothing missing. This caused me to question my recollection – perhaps I failed to double-check my door after all.

But that doubt was put to rest the next day as I realized a pocket knife I’d had in a desk drawer was missing. I searched high and low and never found it.

Then that evening, I was putting away my skivvies when I discovered both my birth certificate and my expired passport missing. They had been neatly tucked under the paper drawer-liner for safe keeping.

That seething rage became an explosive inferno as I stepped across the hall and pounded on Martin’s door. There was no answer, yet I felt certain he was inside cowering, so I pushed the door in by force.

I was wrong – Martin wasn’t in his room – but I wasn’t about to let an opportunity to search his room slip by me.

After trashing the place, I found absolutely nothing. He either had it so well hidden that it would take a team of detectives to find my stuff or he had taken it with him to wherever he disappeared.

Quietly, I sat up throughout much of the night waiting for the little asshole to return. He never did and eventually, Ethel had me clean out his room and repair the door so she could rent the space out to another boarder.

A few weeks later, with Mary moving to the area, we rented an apartment on Sutro Street where we would live for the next 12 years. As I was moving my stuff out of the boarding house I learned than Martin had also robbed me of a 20-dollar gold piece that I’d had hidden in my shaking kit and tucked under my bed.

There was nothing that could be done about any of it, so I resolved to let it go and move forward. Then about four-years later, as I pulled into the nearby Albertston’s on Oddie Blvd., I saw Martin coming out of the store with several grocery bags in his arms.

“Here, let me help you with those,” I offered with happiness in my voice.

Martin, not recognizing me at all, gladly allowed me to take five of the bags from him as he fished out his car keys out of his pocket. Behind him trailed a woman, a baby carrier in her arms.

Joyfully, I helped him load the truck with his groceries as his wife buckled the carrier into the back seat. That’s when I surprised him, saying, “I’d really like to have my birth certificate and passport back, Martin.”

His head snapped back and his face went pale as he knew instantly who I was and what I was talking about. Still a scrawny, stick figure of a man, he must have sensed I was more than willing to kick his ass if he got smart-mouthed or resisted me in anyway.

A fast as a ground-squirrel, he hoping behind the wheel and slammed his door shut; slapping the button lock down to make certain I couldn’t open the door and yank him out. I heard him yell at his wife to forget strapping the car seat down and to get in quick.

She had to scramble to get in the passenger seat as he had the car in gear and was pulling away within seconds of learning my identity. Martin nearly hit a mother and daughter as they came out of the grocery store and headed across the parking lot.

Yes, I could have followed him – but I decided not too. Instead I savored the fear of god I had jus’ put into the little man as he disappeared down the road.

That was the last time I saw Martin, that is until he walked by my home a few days ago.

The funny thing is that for years I’ve been trying to get a certified copy of my birth certificate from the federal government since I was born overseas as a military dependent, but to no avail, because I don’t have the hospital registry number. Then about a month ago, I accidentally stumbled on a copy that my parents placed in a ‘school record’s book,’ they started when I was baby – so now I have the necessary number.

Maybe it’s time I invite Martin over for cup of coffee. The whole idea makes me laugh.

Taking a Bite Out of Apple

In September 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook joined first lady Michelle Obama during President Obama’s State of the Union address. Ironic how fast the tables turned from favor to opposition.

That’s because the Department of Justice and its law enforcement arm, the FBI are trying to force Apple to create a custom software application that will help the agency break into a seized phone. Apple doesn’t want to do that, because it would be creating a security flaw in its own privacy protections, which could then be exploited, both lawfully and unlawfully.

And the DOJ/FBI are using a 227-year-old statute known as the ‘All Writ’s Act of 1789.’ So what is this All Writs Act?

  • (a) The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.
  • (b) An alternative writ or rule nisi may be issued by a justice or judge of a court which has jurisdiction.
  • (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 944; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 90, 63 Stat. 102.)

(A ‘nisi’ or ‘rule nisi’ is a court order that does not have any force unless a particular condition’s met. Once met the ruling becomes absolute and is binding.)

It was part of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which created the federal court system and George Washington signed it into law. In essence it gives the court power to issue orders that do not fall under a pre-existing law.

It serves as a procedural tool for courts dealing with odd and miscellaneous issues that haven’t been covered by other laws yet. And if interpreted broadly, it could undermine the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which reads in part: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”

If U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym decides in favor of the government, she’ll set a precedent making it easier for any agencies to force a company (or individual) to comply no matter the reason or outcome.  As stated by Thomas Jefferson, “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

The Instrument of Plunder

“How is it that the law enforcer itself does not have to keep the law? How is it that the law permits the state to lawfully engage in actions which, if undertaken by individuals, would land them in jail?” — Frédéric Bastiat, from his 1850 pamphlet, “The Law.”

In July 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency decided that federal law allows it to “garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.” The EPA claims this new authority by citing the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, approved under the Clinton administration.

Apparently, the DCIA gives all federal agencies the power to conduct administrative wage garnishment. The agency also pointed to a Department of Treasury rule from 2011 outlining debt collection for various agencies, including the EPA.

“Administrative Wage Garnishment would apply only after EPA attempts to collect delinquent debts and after Treasury attempts to collect delinquent debts through other means prior to any action,” giving the debtor the opportunity to “review, contest or enter into a repayment agreement.”

Americans have had to contend with such actions before. In fact, this same thing was addressed in a list of grievances by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent out hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance,” as well as “imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.”

The amount of money the EPA has collected in fines has increased steadily since President Obama took office. In 2012, the agency took in $252 million in fines, up from just $96 million in 2009.

This is what Bastiat meant when he also wrote, “It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.”

Where Consensus Rules Over Facts

A photographer has captured an image of a dead polar bear that he claims starved to death because of climate change. Sebastian Copeland was in the Canadian Arctic when he came across the animal’s emaciated corpse surrounded in molted fur on a patch of rocky ground.

Copeland claims it serves as an illustration of what polar bears face as the sea ice retreats, making it harder to hunt seals and forcing them further inland for food. His supposition’s bolstered by other climate change expert who’re warning that the Arctic could be completely free of ice in just 40 years.

Along with the polar bears, these experts say an estimated 150,000 penguins have been wiped out in Antarctica. The journal Antarctic Science says in 2010 an iceberg blocked access to the penguins’ natural feeding areas reducing the population to just a few thousand.

Yet, you and I are supposed to believe that the polar bear population is being threatened by a lack of icebergs. And honestly, even the experts like Polar Bear International, National Wildlife Federation or World Wildlife Federation can agree on the number of polar bears in the world.

In the end, it comes down to this: either there’s deadly ice in the polar ice caps or there’s not enough for survival – but you can have it both ways.

There’s NO Divide Along Party-lines

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t wait for Justice Antonin Scalia’s body to reach room temperature before saying he would give any President Obama nominee a fair hearing in the Senate before rejecting the choice along partisan lines.

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” said McConnell in a statement. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

The Senate’s number one Dem followed up with a warning for Republicans not to block Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, claiming such an action would be an abdication of their duties.

“Pursuing their radical strategy in a quixotic quest to deny the basic fact that the American people elected President Obama – twice — would rank among the most rash and reckless actions in the history of the Senate. And the consequences will reverberate for decades,” claimed Senator Harry Reid

Immediately afterwards, signs that Republican unity was wavering could be found.

“I think we fall into the trap if just simply say sight unseen, we fall into the trap of being obstructionists,” North Carolina’s Republican Senator Thom Tillis said, “If he puts forth someone that we think is in the mold of President Obama’s vision for America, then we’ll use every device available to block that nomination.”

Finally, GOP Senator Dean Heller, also from Nevada, is backing the Progressive power play, adding a new twist.

“The chances of approving a new nominee are slim, but Nevadans should have a voice in the process. That’s why I encourage the President to use this opportunity to put the will of the people ahead of advancing a liberal agenda on the nation’s highest court,” Heller said, adding “Should he decide to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, who knows, maybe it’ll be a Nevadan,” Heller said, in an apparent reference to Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.

Sandoval is a former U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada judge. Prior to that, he was the Nevada’s Attorney General.

I wonder if any of these nit-wits have considered looking at someone who’ll ‘support and defend the Constitution,’ instead of trying to avoid looking bad to members of the opposite party?

Five Funeral’s Obama Did Attend

The White House says President Obama won’t be attending the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The supposition is that it’s because he’s a ‘secret-Muslim.

However, his attending funerals have nothing to do with whatever religion he does or doesn’t submit too. It does however have to do with his political ideology; after all there are five funerals he did attend.

  • Reverend Clementa Pinckney, a Democratic state senator for South Carolina, who lost his life on June 17, 2015. Despite never having met Pinckney, Obama delivered his eulogy.
  • Former Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley, who passed away October 18, 2013. Obama spoke at the man’s funeral.
  • Senator Daniel Inouye, a Democrat from Hawai’i, who passed away December 17, 2012. Obama openly wept over the Progressive senator.
  • Senator Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, who died June 28, 2010. Despite Byrd’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan, Obama gave a speech at the ceremony, calling the late senator his friend.
  • Walter Cronkite, a life-long Progressive Democrat and model for modern journalists, who died on July 17, 2009. Obama spoke at the service, openly admitting that he had never met Cronkite.

It’s simple – Obama isn’t attending Scalia’s funeral because he hates the principals he stood for as a Constitutional Supreme Court Justice. The pattern speaks for itself; if you don’t believe in the same Progressive ideology as Obama, you are his enemy.

And like all megalomaniacs, when it comes to one’s enemies, he’s simply washed his hands of the man.

The BLM Doesn’t Discriminate; Land is Power

A dozen or so years before Cliven Bundy faced down armed agents of the Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights, Nevada rancher Raymond Yowell watched as the BLM seized his herd. Adding to that insult, they’ve taken his money too since 2008.

Yowell’s 150 head of cattle had grazed for decades on the South Fork Western Shoshone Indian Reservation in northeastern Nevada until the BLM seized them. They sold the cattle at auction, using some of the money to pay off part of Yowell’s ‘back grazing fees.’

Then the BLM sent Yowell a bill for the outstanding balance, some $180,000. They’ve been garnishing the former Shoshone chief’s monthly Social Security checks ever since.

While Bundy defied the BLM over fees for grazing cattle on ‘government-owned’ land, Yowell’s cattle roamed reservation land. But a 1979 Supreme Court decision held that even land designated for Indian reservations is held in trust for them, and thus subject to BLM regulation.

The Western Shoshone have never relinquished their right to the territory and treaties led to the creation of the reservation granted to Yowell and other cattlemen the right to graze cattle on the land. He’s also sued the BLM, the Treasury Department and others for $30 million, saying he was exercising his “treaty guaranteed vested rights” to be a herdsman.

Members of the Te-Moak Livestock Association deny the land in question belongs to the federal government. They say it was never alienated under the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley.

The treaty gave certain rights to the U.S. in the Nevada Territory, but didn’t state that the Shoshone were to surrender their lands. This omission created problems for the Indian Claims Commission from the time it was established in 1946 until it was dissolved in 1978, forcing outstanding issues to be transferred to the courts.

The federal government purchased the land from the Shoshone in the 1940s, but tribal members claim they were paid cents on the dollar for the land. Also the traditional members claim the land was not for sale and they refused payment.

In 2004, the fed’s passed the Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act, which authorized payment of $145 million for the transfer of 25 million acres to the U.S. Seven of the nine tribal councils within the Western Shoshone Nation opposed the legislation. Then on January 17, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Western Shoshone National Council against the U.S. that sought to quiet title to lands defined in the Treaty of Ruby Valley.

In 2013, Yowell represented himself in a successful effort to win a federal injunction to stop the BLM from impounding his cattle, as well as a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that reversed the lower court. He continues to represent himself, this time in a petition to have the U.S. Supreme Court hear his case, where he argues his cattle were taken without due process and in violation of multiple treaties.

As all this played out, other members of the Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone formed the South Fork Livestock Partnership had cattle grazing on the land. The SFLP members paid the grazing fee to the BLM.

Meanwhile, the TMLA, of which Yowell is a member, quit paying permit fees in 1984 with the claim that they didn’t have to pay for grazing on land that was rightfully that of the Western Shoshone. The BLM cancelled the Association’s permit in 1989.

Yowell retired in 2006 after nearly 30 years as chief of the national council. He said he leaves most of the heavy lifting to his son these days at his ranch on the edge of the Ruby Mountains where his parents first settled in the 1930s.

As Oglala Lakota chief Mahpiua-Luta (Red Cloud) stated, “They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept one; they promised to take our land, and they did.”

Skepticism Surrounds Scalia’s Sudden Death

“The world might never know exactly what killed U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia,” writes Caroline Bankoff of the New York Magazine. What an odd word ‘kill’ is when it comes to a man who supposedly died in his sleep.

But then maybe because I’ve grown up with questions like, ‘Who shot Kennedy?’ I’m cynical when it comes to the death of ‘political figures.’ But in this case, I have ligit questions that need investigating.

Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in West Texas at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa. Compliant media outlets like The Washington Post immediately claimed it was a heart attack.

However, a heart attack can be caused by several reasons and with only one medical examiner claiming it was from natural causes, more information needs to be sought. In fact, the coroner in this case, a Presidio County Judge named Cinderela Guevara contradicted news reports saying Scalia die of a heart attack, but rather of a ‘myocardial infarction.’

A myocardial infarction in the simplest terms is the destruction of an area of heart muscle as the result of occlusion of a coronary artery. This raises my question — what caused this destruction?

We’ll never know because an autopsy was never performed. In fact, Scalia was pronounced dead over the phone after Guevara “consulted with Scalia’s personal physician and sheriff’s investigators, who said there were no signs of foul play.”

In other cases, such as an unattended death or murder – the Ector County Medical Examiner out of Odessa, Texas would have been called. At 170 miles from Presidio County it’s the closest county with a licensed medical examiner.

This and other facts have started to emerge which leave at nearly 75-percent of people questioning what happened according to at least one poll. After all, the ranches owner, John Poindexter in an article in the UK’s Daily Mail says Scalia was found with a pillow over his head.

That alone should have set off alarm bells! And while Texas law does allow for an over-the-phone pronouncement of death, an eyes-on physical examination of the body should have been mandatory.

I’m certain that most law enforcement officials would agree with me that an autopsy in this case would be a matter of common sense.

It’s outrageous that a man of his stature wouldn’t have an autopsy to confirm cause of death. One would think his family would have insisted, but they’re ‘now’ claiming they didn’t want one.

And to make thing look even worse, in less than 24 hours, Scalia’s body was embalmed in accordance with Texas law because his remains were being flown to Virginia. This destroyed any evidence of foul play should it have it existed.

Add to this the timing of his death — and its hard not to see a conspiracy in Scalia’s passing.

Raindrop

For nearly half a year I transported the two women, from the same apartment building to same destination. Both had German accents, one was tall while the other short and blind.

The tall one, Margarete always went to the Washoe County Senior Center where she helped other seniors with their social security and other paperwork. Gertrude’s ride always ended at Washoe Medical Center where she played the piano for visitors coming through the front door.

One July morning, when the temperature was approaching the 80-degree mark, I assisted both women onto the bus. Gertrude immediately complained that it was to hot, so I offered to turn up the vehicles air conditioning.

This caused Margarete to worry that she’d get too cold. So Gertrude decided on a compromise – she’d remove her long-sleeve sweater.

Once she had it off, I noticed the strange look on Margarete’s face. She then leaned across the aisle and said something in German.

Gertrude responded in kind and then held up her left arm, showing Margarete what appeared to be a small tattoo on her forearm. They continued to talk between themselves in their native tongue.

Within minutes we pulled up in front of the senior center, where Margarete needed to be. There was a certain amount of reluctance on her part to get off the bus, but finally after chatting some more with Gertrude she got up and exited the vehicle.

After escorting her to the doorway of the building, I rushed back onto the bus, sat down in my seat and strapped in. I looked up into the overhead mirror and saw Gertrude had a small grin on her face.

Without prompting she started, “It’s a very small world.”

“It is,” I returned.

“For nearly five-years I’ve lived across the hall from that woman and not once have we spoken more than simple pleasantries to each other,” she continued, “And now this.”

I remained quiet, knowing she was already preparing to explain.

“In 1943, I was deported to Sobibór,” she stated flatly, “You know of the place?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I answered.

“There the Nazi’s gave me this tattoo – marking me as a Jew – an undesirable,” Gertrude said, “ And I now find out that Margarete was a prisoner at Sobibór too.”

“That does make it a small world,” I commented.

“Too make it smaller still – while I cannot recall her face, nor she mine from 53-years-ago, her identification number is one digit higher than mine,” she lightly smiled, “meaning she was right behind me in that awful line.”

“Oh, my,” I exclaimed, “That gives me goose-bumps.”

She grew quiet and remained so for the rest of the ride to the hospital. As was my custom, I escorted without a word inside the front doors.

Also as usual I poured myself a complimentary cup of coffee, and then spent a few minutes listening to Gertrude warming up on the keyboard. It was at that moment that I truly felt the old woman’s inner sadness as she began playing Chopin’s “Raindrop” prelude.

And for the second time that early morning, I felt the tingle of goose-bumps as they effortlessly rushed over my skin. Then I left early, fearful that someone might see my eyes filling with tears and I’d have to explain.

Asshat

It began innocently enough with a short news item that I’d written and posted on Facebook…

FORGETTING THE CONSTITUTION: Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee are disagreeing on the Supreme Court nomination process in an election year. Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said it is “standard practice” not to confirm nominees during presidential elections. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said waiting would be a “dereliction of duty.”

Eric Taylor: Last time a SCOTUS justice died while still on the bench, they had a new one in less than a month (2005.) Reagan also appointed Justice Kennedy during his lame duck year in 1988. That’s the “standard practice” GOP asshats are nothing if not brazen hypocrites.

Me: The most recent declaration that there should be no new Justice’s appointed until a new President was elected came from Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer in 2007. So before calling anyone an asshat you need to know what the hell you’re talking about.

Eric Taylor: The problem with that narrative of yours is that there were no SCOTUS openings in 2007. Alito got appointed in 2006 and there were no more openings until 2009. I’m not sure if Schumer said that or not (I can only find citations from right-wing nut job websites), but if he said it in 2007, it meant precisely squat because there wasn’t actually an opening on the court, or any nomination pending.

Me: Here I presented evidence in the form of a YouTube Video entitle, “Senator Schumer on Roberts and Alito (https://youtu.be/tkRZVE3aDm8) And please don’t try and change the argument since you set it up.

Eric Taylor: Again, it was in 2007. No openings then so his statement was moot, at best. Also, his comment was somewhat regretful for his own votes confirming Roberts and Alito in 2005 and 2006 when they were (relatively) rushed through the nomination process by the GOP-controlled Senate. Finally, Schumer also said they should block nominees “unless there were extraordinary circumstances.” I’d say a vacancy on the court would qualify as extraordinary circumstances. In any event, while the GOP certainly doesn’t have the entire hypocrisy market cornered, they are certainly more brazen about, mostly because the lapdog media never calls them on it.

Me: Does not matter — it was stated by Schumer in 2007. Period!

Eric Taylor: Context is important

Me: Again trying to change the argument by adding something to it that wasn’t a part of the original argument.

Eric Taylor: I’m not changing anything by adding actual facts and context. Did you even read anything I wrote? I’m sorry I put some big words in there.

Me: This was the crux of your argument: “GOP asshats are nothing if not brazen hypocrites.” I countered with the fact that Schumer made the same comments in 2007, then backed it up with a video of him saying what I had claimed. You on the other hand tried to change the argument by trying to show that there was not confirmations planned, with wasn’t part of your original statement, then you added ‘ context,’ and to your argument and finally you’ve become insulting which is the true sign of a person who has no argument. You are a Progressive, through and through. So you can comment again — but I’ve proven my point and you’ll jus’ end up looking like the asshat in the end.

Eric Taylor: Through all of that you never addressed my original point and clung to your straw man argument even after I repeatedly minimized it.

Too be honest, I still don’t think he ever understood his original argument to begin with after all, both parties have their ‘asshats.’

Property is Property to the Federal Government

The fed isn’t only interested in seizing and holding state land they claim needs protection, they also go after the ‘little guy,’ as in the case of Michigan resident John Gutowski.

In 2013, federal authorities arrested Gutowski, charging him with conspiring to commit marriage fraud. The case: Too many marriage applications filed by immigrant residents living in apartment buildings he owned.

Evidently, Gutowski leased his apartments to Eastern European immigrants but the government alleged that he was actually helping them to find Americans willing to marry them so that they could stay in the country. They also confiscated over $250,000 in personal seized assets.

This goes against everything in that’s memorialized in Article IV of the U.S. Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Prosecutors were eventually forced to drop the charges. But they held on to the $250,000 in assets claiming the funds were the illicit proceeds of his ‘sham marriage operation’ though they lacked evidence. This goes to show that no criminal charges or convictions are necessary to strip you of your property.

In fact all the government needs do is show that the property was used in, or was the result of, a crime and it’s up to the owner to disprove to prove his or her own innocence. This differs from criminal law procedures where the burden of proof always rests with the government.

And under federal law and in most state laws, the law enforcement agencies that seize property get to keep and spend the proceeds. This gives them a financial incentive to seize property, even under questionable circumstances like Gutowski’s.

As Karl Marx wrote, “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.”

Jailed Because Gun Ownership Trumps Free Speech

Online talk show host Pete Santilli, who reported on the stand-off at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, will stay in federal custody until his trial. Arrested January 26 in Burns, federal prosecutors say he was a part of the conspiracy of threats and intimidation preventing federal employees from doing their jobs during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Santilli used his Internet radio talk show to rail against government conspiracies and injustices. As a journalist, and all the reporting, interviewing and face-to-face confrontations he did during the takeover and occupation of the wildlife refuge falls under free-speech protections in the First Amendment.

Santilli spent nearly two months in Harney County supporting the wildlife refuge occupiers’ cause, but also expressing disagreement with the takeover and occupation. He’s the only journalist arrested in connection with the stand-off, even though several reporters, photographers, bloggers and freelancer writers came to Harney County to report on the situation.

U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman said that Santilli’s history “does not favor detention and that the weight of the evidence cuts in his favor,” he does believes the reporters admission to owning several registered and unregistered guns poses a risk to law enforcement. Mosman claimed that he did not consider Santilli — who lives in Ohio — to be a flight risk, but admission about the guns was enough to sway the decision.

Surprisingly, the ACLU of Oregon has come to Santilli’s defense:

“While many people might disagree with statements made by those involved in the Malheur takeover, Americans have a fundamental right to freedom of speech,” wrote Mat dos Santos, the legal director for the ACLU of Oregon, in statement posted to the group’s website.

So — whose next — and why isn’t the media up in arms over this?

When a Constitutional Sheriff Stands Up

Ten days before Christmas 2014 at around 9 a.m., the U.S. Marshals Service kicked in the door of an apartment intent on evicting the people living there because the buildings’ owner, Kent Carter owed the government more than $800,000. However, federal agents didn’t count on Eddy County, New Mexico Sheriff Scott London.

Called to intervene and upon arrival, Sheriff London stood between 20-year-old Wilson Baughman, a wife and mother to a one-year old child, and the Marshals Service despite being threatened with arrest. The sheriff reminded the feds that the case was still under appeal and that Carter and Baughman deserved due process.

On February 19 the IRS auctioned off three of the owner’s homes in Carlsbad despite the fact that the appeal had yet to be heard. Court documents showed that Carter had appealed the case but hadn’t had his day in court.

One of the houses was Carter’s personal home, while the two others were rental properties. Carter and his tenants were forced to move out in December in the midst of the legal battle.

London said the IRS violated Carter’s right to due process by selling off his property, even though Carter had a pending appeal. So before the auction took place, the sheriff sent a letter to the IRS notifying the agency that he wouldn’t allow the sale to move forward without proper due process.

“Thus I am notifying you that under the compulsion to my oath to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of New Mexico, I shall not allow the sale of these three properties on 19 February, 2015,” his letter reads in part.

After the story got out, London received letters of support from as far away as France, with many people offering to come to Carlsbad and help Carter defend his property. London said he feared a repeat of scenes like the one we saw last year in Nevada, when armed protestors clashed with the feds trying to seize Cliven Bundy’s cattle.

So he and Carter decided to back down and give in to the IRS. But while it’s too late for Carter to get his property back, London is now seeking a congressional review of the DOJ, the IRS, and all the judges involved in the case.

The Oregon Land Battle Goes On

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to close 164 miles of logging roads by using heavy machinery to re-contour some, decommissioning another 109 miles, and allowing 55 miles to return to a natural state on their own in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument area east of Ashland, Oregon.

The BLM claims culverts and drainage ditches are failing, allowing sediment and other debris to wash into the local watersheds. The agency also says that many of the roads proposed for closure are all dead-end logging spurs that branch off from more-traveled routes.

The 2014 Oregon Gulch fire burned more than 35,000 acres in Oregon and California, including part of the area. Over the years, many of the roads have been kept open so firefighters would have access to battle blazes and because they serve as fire breaks.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument area was created by President Bill Clinton in 2000 to protect the Cascade, Klamath and Siskiyou mountain ranges convergence. Pilot Rock is inside this area, as is as a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Meanwhile, the BLM has added thousands of acres to the area since its creation by acquiring (and not necessarily purchasing) private lands though it doesn’t have the budgetary finances to maintain what acreage it does have in its holdings.

More High Desert Goes Federal

The take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve near Burns, Oregon, may have ended but the federal land grab continues.

President Obama is granting national monument status to nearly 1.8 million acres of Southern California desert. In all, he will name three specific regions national monuments — Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains (both in the Mojave Desert) and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran Desert.

It’s a move the White House says will maintain in perpetuity the region’s fragile ecosystem and natural resources, as well as provide recreational opportunities for hikers, campers, hunters and others. The designations will also connect Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve and 15 other federal wilderness areas.

The designations nearly double the amount of public land that Obama has designated as national monument status since taking office. Meanwhile the Commander-in-Thief is in California this week for a fundraising tour.

My Time as a Mortician-assistant

One of the many part-time jobs I’ve had over the years was that of mortician’s assistant. Much of the job required me to be on-call at all hours of the day to pick up dead bodies from nursing homes, hospitals, private homes and the occasional crime scene or car wreck.

The hours, though difficult at times – like a full moon – were easy to get beyond and the pay was more than generous. But the hardest part of the job came when it was my turn to tend to preparing remains.

One morning I was called up to both pick up and prepare the body. I wasn’t emotionally ready for the sight of an eight-month old child, but I carried on, getting the job finished in a more than timely fashion.

For the next week I could not get that sweet, little baby’s face out of my mind. I dreamed it to the point that I had nightmares.

After two-weeks of sleepless nights brought on by this tiny one’s death led me to realize this job wasn’t something I wanted to do for a living – even part-time.

Brain Freeze

While en route to Las Vegas, I had to stop to fill up my trucks gas tanks and empty my coffee-strained bladder. After fueling up, I raced to the public restroom.

Already there were three people, each one occupying one of the four stand-up urinals. This included a grandfather, his grown son and his grandson of about 11 years in age.

As I sidled up to the empty stall, I heard the grandpa say to his boy, “It sure is cold.”

Chuckling, the young man responded to the obvious joke, “Yup, and deep too.”

The pair snickered at their hilarity, jus’ as the grandson piped up, “Ohh – brain freeze!”

I laughed so hard that I damned near pee’d on myself.

The Word IS ‘Terrorist!’

Time and time again — I’ve heard newscasters ‘ripping and reading’ the Associated Presses ‘FBI verses Apple’ story saying, “the San Bernardino Shooter.” It should be “…the San Bernardino TERRORIST.”

Syed Farook is a TERRORIST; his wife is a TERRORIST!

If he were jus’ a “shooter” at a post office, a “shooter” at a high school or the Uber “shooter,” the FBI wouldn’t give a crap about his iPhone and this wouldn’t be a story. It’s time to think, and rewrite where necessary, because words really do matter.

Oh My Gosh! I’m Viper!

Having hit my teens in the early 70s, I often used comic books to escape from the worry of the Vietnam War, riots as seen on TV, Watergate and gas rationing. It was nice to read some form of cheap ‘fantasy’ and tune out the real world.

Those were the days when you would go to the local neighborhood grocery store, mine was the Woodland Villa Market, and there on the metal turnstile rack would be anything from the old standard favs of Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Captain America to the less popular G.I. Combat, Sgt. Rock, The Unexpected, or Plastic Man. Today, you literally have to go to a book store to find a comic book – or subscribe to them like one would for any magazine.

One of my favorites was Weird War Tales, published by DC Comics. The anthology series came with supernatural overtones with horror, mystery, fantasy and science fiction elements – and was “perfect for a growing adolescent mind,” as my old man would say.

Recently, I went to Barnes and Noble to have a look around and I happened upon the January edition of Captain America. In it, a super-villain named Viper complaining about American exceptionalism and saying, “Someone has to make America marvelous again.”

Kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Viper also has the audacity to whine about “overreaching government” and even asks, “Where in the constitution is anyone promised clean air, anyhow?”

It leaves me wondering — when did I become the enemy of Captain America?

For that answer one has to go back to August 1973, where Captain America was battling a conspiracy that led all the way to the White House. In the end, the head of the evil Secret Empire was then-president Richard Nixon, who killed himself, preferring not be captured.

 

Good thing I still have a trunk full of Weird War Tales to help me escape this adult world of twisted propaganda.

Jus’ Add the Call Letters

Why do some radio and TV personalities include the call letters or channel number with their names on Facebook? Do they think that is how people identify them.

Has some consultant told them this is good for their career? Don’t these personalities think they can stand on their own without adding the channel number or call letters to their own name.

It’s a silly practice.

Options

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been on the go. In fact, I’ve always craved adventure and activity of all sorts.

However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered that some of the things I’ve survived have left their mark. The biggest mark in this case is my broken back.

Along with this come the usual aches and pains in and around the fracture site. But also because of this, my neck, shoulders and legs hurt from time-to-time.

It is with some hesitation that I share this as recently I added another pain in which I could bemoan. I’ve severely pulled (or even torn) my groin muscles and this is a hurt, though temporary, is one that I truly despise.

My philosophy about adventuring out into the wilds is much like my philosophy on life: I plan to do so for as long as I can walk and breathe. The moment I decide to give-up outdoor activity is the day my body id delivered to the undertaker.

That being said – I took a chance by rock-hopping some 50-plus feet above level ground. It nearly cost me everything as I stepped on some loose gravel and found myself without footing and rushing towards the edge of a drop-off.

Not one to readily panic, I flattened myself out onto my stomach and spread my legs as wide apart as possible while trying to find even the tiniest finger-hold to halt my decent. Somehow, I slowed and was able to grip a rough area in the rock’s surface using only a couple of my fingers on my right hand.

That was enough exertion to stress the muscles in my forearm, something that bothered me for a day or two. However, going spread-eagle really did a number on my crotch.

The burning sensation of a pulled muscle was nearly immediate – but far less painful than the alternative of falling. So, in essence and while it might sound like I’m complaining, I’m actually very happy to feel the hurt brought on by this newest injury.

It tells me that I am alive.

It also reminds me that I am not as young as my brain tends to trick me into thinking that I am. I’m also reminded that while surrendering to old age and aches and pains is not an option – being more careful while on trail is one option I cannot afford to overlook.

The S.S. United States to be Restored

There may still be hope for the S.S. United States as Crystal Cruises has signed a purchase option to restore the historic ocean liner and bring it back into service. The option commits Crystal to cover the costs of preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, expected to be completed by the end of 2016 at an estimated $60,000 a month.

Known as “the Big U” and “America’s Flagship,” S.S. United States has a history that harkens back to the golden age of ocean liners. Before its retirement in 1969, the SS United States was the most glamorous and elegant ship in the world, having transported four U.S. presidents, international royalty, many of Hollywood’s “golden era” celebrities, as well as a million passengers.

I also have a personal history with this vessel, as it was the ship that carried me and my parents back to America from France in late 1962.

Conceived as part of a top-secret Pentagon project during the Cold War, the S.S. United States was to be converted into a war ship and carry 15,000 troops halfway around the world without refueling, if needed. The ship is 590 feet long, about five city blocks, which is 109-feet longer than the Titanic.

Crystal plans to turn the ship into an 800-passenger luxury liner with 400 suites that measure 350 square feet. To transform the vessel — at one time, the most powerful vessel in the world, setting a record, which still stands, for the fastest transatlantic crossing in 1952 — will cost between $700 million to $800 million.

The S.S. United States Preservation Society has owned the vessel since 2011; before that, it was owned by Norwegian Cruise Line. If Crystal Cruises is able to navigate the S.S. United States through safety and environmental regulations and finance the overhaul, the ship could hit the seas sometime in 2018.

I’d love to sail aboard the S.S. United States once again.

Its in the Mail

My medication arrived via the U.S. Postal Service. The heavy plastic packaging was a mangled hole-filled mess and all but three of the 90-day supply of pills were gone, having fallen out of the severely crushed bottle.

IMG_4571

Now, I’m trying to get the prescription refilled and the VA is dragging its feet. This is bureaucracy at its finest.

Good thing I’m being treated for depression, bi-polar disorder and PTSD and not paranoia — otherwise I’d think someone was out to get me.

Jerry’s Commission

The course work seemed easy as Jerry struggled to put his life back together. At his true middle age, he found himself homeless and without family or friends.

Each day Jerry arose, dressed and walked the two and a half blocks to the library and sat a computer console to complete the assignments given by his instructors the week before. He was such a regular that many of the staff, along with the other homeless men, knew him by name.

They could count on Jerry. He had a way with people – always upbeat – the sort of guy who could place a positive spin on most any negative situation.

Rarely though did anyone ever think to ask him what ailed Jerry.

But he didn’t mind, as he knew by the end of the second year that he was doing God’s work. It was the design the Creator had laid out before him in several dreams.

The voice in his head only served to reinforce this knowledge. Jerry also had a series of experiences that he knew could only be God-driven and therefore was certain he’d met his calling.

One day Jerry opened his file from the online-university to find a note addressed to him. It was somewhat of a surprise.

“At first,” it read, “I thought you were cheating somehow. But then I watched as you studied, sitting on the edge of your cot in what you call home.”

The instructor, Mr. Armstrong, explained that Jerry was the only student he had that had ever ‘aced’ his course. At first Jerry felt indignant but then the more he pondered it, the more he knew he should wear the acquittal as some sort of badge-of-honor.

Life changed for Jerry as he continued to study. Over the six-year period, he’d gone from destitute to owning a simple home and a decent vehicle.

Jerry had also met and married the woman of his dreams. She was more than willing to put up with his erratic work hours – even having gone to work with him from time to time to show her support.

The only problem Jerry could see in his life, was that his work wasn’t a part of his true calling – the one he had dreamed of all of those years ago. But he also continually reminded himself that ‘God is in charge’ and when the time was right, all would fall into place.

After another two years, Jerry finally came to accept that perhaps his dreams were simply that – “his dreams.” Around the same time he’d also found other ways to serve God, especially through his work.

Then it happened, nearly a decade to the date of his graduation from Divinity school, Jerry’s world began to crash around him. He lost his job, finding himself unable to find another one.

This time though, he didn’t feel the fear of losing his home, wife or even his friends. No, he insisted that there was a job out there someplace for Jerry.

“Odd,” Jerry said to the guy behind him in line, “I thought I had it all.”

“So how’d you end up here?” the man asked.

Sighing heavily, Jerry began to explain, “My wife got sick but was killed by a drunk driver as she headed to work one early morning.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” replied the man.

“Then the bank foreclosed on our home,” Jerry continued, “and because she was the only one with her name of the deed or whatever – I was left out in the cold.”

“That’s heavy man,” the other fellow said.

“Anyway, I’m starting over again – this time as an old man,” Jerry complained.

There was a long silence between the men, filled only with the harsh whispers of men down on their luck, the shuffling of worn-out shoes and the ragged breathing of men who spent to long in the cold evening air around a homeless camp’s burn barrel.

“You know,” the man behind Jerry finally offered, “God has a plan for all of us.”

Jerry glared in the direction of the man, “Don’t you ever tell me God has a plan for me! This is it and there ain’t no more!”

The silence was startling as the others in line grew instantly quiet as they waited for the homeless men’s overflow shelter to open its doors. Each man suddenly felt Jerry’s sorrow and anger co-mingle with his own.

Haiku #169

The sun shines brightly
Shadows cast down towards earth
No tomorrows left.

Something Stinks in Oregon’s Malheur County

It’s odd how Bill and Hillary Clinton’s names pop up in the strangest places. This time in connection with the now-besieged Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Pulled directly from the BLM’s website:

“In September 2011, a representative from Oregon Energy, L.L.C. (formally Uranium One), met with local citizens, and county and state officials, to discuss the possibility of opening a uranium oxide (“yellowcake”) mine in southern Malheur County in (emphasis mine) southeastern Oregon. Oregon Energy is interested in developing a 17-Claim parcel of land known as the Aurora Project through an open pit mining method. Besides the mine, there would be a mill for processing. The claim area occupies about 450 acres and is also referred to as the “New U” uranium claims.

Now couple this April 23, 2015 headline in The New York Times, “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation amid Russian Uranium Deal,” and you have the making of a great conspiracy. In a nutshell, the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation, Rosatom wanted to expand their operations into the U.S. and needed a way in.

So, in 2013, Rosatom acquired a Canadian company named Uranium One as part of a deal which involved multiple parties. This is the same Uranium One that is now known as Oregon Energy, LLC, according to the BLM’s website.

There is more to this story than meets the eye.

Page 209, Sentence Six

Recently, someone sent me a post on Facebook inviting me to pick up the book nearest me and thumb to page 209, then share the sixth sentence on the page. I followed the instructions verbatim.

The closest book was to the left of me; Glenn Beck’s top seller, “It is About Islam.” I’ve found this is not a book to be read before bed time.

As quick as a wink, I opened the paperback to the specified page and drew my pointer finger down the required number of sentences. I quietly closed the book and set it aside, deciding not to play along.

Instead, I simply sat there and pondered the single word my sentence provided: “Apocalypse.”

Exercising My Insomnia

Insomnia is a real son-of-a-bitch! I hate it when I get so tired I cannot sleep because it causes my mind to trigger and I fall into self-pity.

Honestly — this writing is nothing but an exercise in wasted time, meant only to help me clear my mind of the clutter which ails it. Being alone much of everyday gives one time to think and re-think, then eventually over-think everything.

Late night and early morning darkness doesn’t help either. Thus, I write whatever pops into my pea-brain.

A friend told me that ought to look to the future. Unfortunately this person has little to no idea that with nothing to look forward to, the past is all I have at present.

And time is running out on me. I have lost all avenues of escaping the hole I have found myself in as I struggle to hold on to what structure remains in my miserable life.

God knows how angry I am at the destruction on of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” My anger turns to fury when I encounter idiots that are a part of the destruction.

Being easily prepossessed towards melancholia as I am – I understand how loneliness and a lack of success have worn on me. I’m tired of acting as if everything in this effed up life of mine were okay.

Obviously, it isn’t or I would be asleep now and not worried about my present state of being. And worse yet, it pisses me off that when a fracture appears in my public façade and I mention it, I hear, “It’ll be okay,” or “It can’t be that bad.”

And all I can think is, “Oh yeah?! Wanna bet?! You’re life looks pretty damned great from where I’m standing – mine’s in the shitter and worse yet – I’m the toilet paper!”

The whole damned thing makes me wonder what I’ve done wrong. In the end, I know there is really nothing wrong – I’m jus’ exhausted from a lack of sleep and I feel like bitching.

Now that that is all out of my system, perhaps I can get some shut-eye.

Getting Identified

Perhaps everyone should get themselves arrested at least one in their lifetime, that way authorities will be certain to identify you should you be found dead alongside a random roadway.

Here’s a recent article out of Northern California:

“A body found in Southern Humboldt has still not been identified. Last Thursday, on Alderpoint Road near Dyerville Loop, a resident in the area walking their dog, discovered the body alongside the road.

No identification was found on the male victim and a fingerprint test was given. Unfortunately, no name has come up in the data base and law enforcement needs help in identifying the deceased.”

Yes, I know it is a sad story– but see how my mind works?

Strongest Suites

This is my ‘ego’ speaking – but I think a couple of my strongest suites when it come to writing are ‘headlines,’ and ‘conversations.’ Some times I come up with both and nowhere to use them.

For example, I came up with a headline that I doubt I will ever use: “The Politics of Stupid.” It can easily be applied to anything life, but after several months, nothing has come to mind where I could use it.

Then there is the case of coming up with random conversation – something that generally pops into my brain while I’m doing something else and it get stuck there until I can write it down. Many times these bits-and-pieces of conversation have nothing to do with nothing.

My most recent masterpiece spawned itself while I was taking a shower. Yeah, most folks sing in the shower – I talk to myself, sometimes in the third person.

“I’m chief among morons,” he said.

Puzzled, she looked at him and asked, “Why would you say that about yourself?”

“Because it’s true,” he answered with flatness in his voice.

She didn’t respond, knowing he was in another one of his moods.

But then there are also those times when I sit at the kitchen table, cup of coffee near by and stare at a blank page in my note-book, waiting for my muse to come and tap-dance across my forehead. That’s when I come up with some of the more interesting thoughts about myself and life in general.

“All my adult life I did every manly thing I could to make up for being an overly emotional child. Now look at me – I’m physically bankrupt,” or “The more skeletons we expose from our personal closet, the more we tend to create.”

These are the times when I think, “I’ve spent way too much time alone today.”

Animal Crackers

Mary brought home some Animal Crackers. Mind, you I hadn’t tasted one in a very long time, so I couldn’t wait to pop one into my mouth.

The little biscuits come in a bag now and no longer the rectangular box with the string handle. But that didn’t matter to me as I dug into them.

A hippo – that was the first animal out of the bag. But wait I thought, “Are my hands that much bigger since the last time I had one?”

Never mind, I tossed the cracker in my mouth and started chewing. Instead of the sweet delectable goo, I found myself with a mouthful of flat, sticky dough.

This wasn’t anything at all like my childhood memory.

Alas, like so many things from kid-hood, someone in the hope of making a better, healthier or profitable product had vanquished another small pleasure in life. Half-chewed, I pulled the paste from my mouth and offered it to our chow-hound Lab.

Even he turned his head away, not willing to sample the food he had been so heartily begging to be given. So I dropped it, along with the remaining bag of cookies in the garbage can.

Being a grown up shouldn’t have to be so disappointing.

Rain Showers of Success

Thank goodness for notebooks. My mind is a cluttered mess and if it weren’t for spiral notebooks, I’d really be jammed up in the thought department.

“I…I…I…,” is how I want to begin every sentence as I write. I don’t want to sound conceited – but at this hour of the morning I am being very single-minded.

Last night I went to bed very depressed. A friend of mine has moved forward with light speed into broadcasting, while I’ve languished over the past two years-plus without employment.

It is beyond my understanding how all this works. Some people find success or it finds them – while others like me seem to fail at every turn.

Then I have a friend, who out of her kindness reminded me that God has a plan for me. She instructed me to talk to God about this situation.

This pissed me off even further. I cannot for the life of me fathom why God wants me to sit on the sideline like this when he knows a man must work to be worthwhile to his family, society and himself.

It is my nature to see the rain clouds before it begins to pour. But once it starts pouring, I cannot help but notice that which is affecting me the most; the rain.

So far, in the last couple of years, all I have are rain showers when it comes to success.

Broken Diving Watch

In a junk drawer, I found my old diving watch from my service days. Odd how an inanimate object can make me feel so nostalgic.

002

Damned thing’s broken, useless, has been for years. But I jus’ can’t seem to throw it out.

Reminds me of my younger, bolder days. Reminds me of the person I was and the person I want to be.

 

It reminds me that I’m out of my depth.

Its Fear Which Leads to Loss of Liberty

It is both interesting and sad to see people willingly giving up their civil liberties when they have done nothing wrong. For instance, a man, who was openly carrying a weapon in a Bridgeport, Connecticut restaurant and store, recorded a confrontation with police officers requesting his gun permit which he repeatedly refused to produce.

The site hosting the video asked if it were harassment by law enforcement. After watching it, I felt compelled to respond.

“The question comes down to ‘probable cause.’ What probable cause does the officer have to even ask such a question,” I wrote. “Did the permit holder do something that can be construed as illegal? If not, there is no ‘probable cause.’ Thus, this technically violated the 4th Amendment as to illegal search.”

Immediately someone chimed in, “It is like asking for your driver’s license…I don’t think it is harassment.”

I replied, “An officer can only ask you for your driver’s license if they have pulled you over for a suspected violation or if you are involved in an investigation and they need to verify who you are.”

“What about road side checks? Might want to brush up on your case law,” some one else posted in response to my comment.

Another commenter posted, “He didn’t ask to search him, no different than being asked for ID! Wake the hell up! It needs to be done!”

No, but they asked him to produce the permit under the color of authority. So the word ‘search’ in this case is, “An examination of a man’s house, premises or person, for the purpose of discovering proof of his guilt in relation to some crime or misdemeanor of which be is accused.”

It’s obvious that when it comes to protecting one’s civil liberty, many people are too fearful to stand up to authority. The idea of being detained/arrested is too much for them to handle.

As Benjamin Franklin stated, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

When Obama Mocks

“As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands.” – President Obama, SOTUS, January 12, 2016.

So that we are very clear on this, it’s like when he mockingly said, “The 80s are calling and they want their policies back,” to Mitt Romney during the 2012 election cycle and a few months later Russian invaded Ukraine. And the day before Daesh (ISIS) claimed responsibility for killing 130 people in Paris, Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos the terror organization had been “contained.”

“From the start our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them,” he said, adding, “What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters.”

He has made fun of those who’ve been against his position and policies from the very start of his presidency. Things like closing Guantanamo Bay, supporting the Arab Spring, continued relationships with the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that Islam is a religion of peace and claiming that a video started a riot in Benghazi which left four American’s dead.

“Here’s what happened. … You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who — who made an extremely offensive video directed at — at Mohammed and Islam,” Obama told former show host David Letterman.

And as we’ve all learned as these last seven years have churned along — that when Obama mocks something – it is either going to or already has begun. Make no bones about it, World War III is underway.

The Pitfalls and Pratfalls of Roof Repair

Following the last snowstorm we experienced, Mary discovered a water stain on our ceiling in the living room. That night I went to bed with visions of handing over bags of cash to whatever construction company we hire to do the repairs.

ceiling stain 001

The following day, while waiting for return calls from the three leading roofing repair companies in the area, I decided to get up on a ladder to have a closer look at the stains. I positioned the ladder right behind our couch and started up.

Because we have a vaulted ceiling and I’m short, I used the step on the ladder that you’re not supposed to stand on. I only needed a few seconds to inspect the area, so I felt I’d be okay.

Wrong.

Our Pit Bull, Roxy, became curious, so she decided to place her 60-pound plus frame, paws first against the legs of the ladder to take a closer look with me. Her action caused the entire ladder to shake and before I could get down, it toppled over.

Realizing that I was falling, I concluded my best bet was to jump. With only milliseconds to react I had to decide where to jump.

If I had landed on the couch with my 200 pound body, I am certain I would have broken the frame. I also had to avoid our two foot stools, as I knew impacting them, would hurt more than help.

Unfortunately, my jump became an extremely uncoordinated affair. Instead of landing on my feet after a tuck and roll as hoped, I flopped onto my right side with a horrific thud.

At that moment, Roxy sprinted out the doggie-door to disappear into our backyard. Our Black lab followed her, concluding that if she was running; he’d best do so too.

Our Yorkie terrier jumped up from where ever she was sleeping and ran to the front door to bark at it, thinking someone had knocked. She is so deaf that all she felt were the vibrations and not the real sounds of the ladder and I falling over.

As for me, I laid there assessing whether I was still alive and if I were, what was now broken and how long I would have to lay there until Mary got home. It only took a couple of minutes to figure out I was neither dead nor broken.

A day later I find myself to be one hurting unit. My right shoulder is giving me so much of a fit that I’m typing this using jus’ my left hand because I don’t want to lift my right hand any higher than I have to.

And though my curiosity about the water spot’s on our ceiling still hasn’t been satisfied, I’m satisfied with paying bags of cash to whatever construction company we hire to do the repairs.

The Problem with ‘Free’ Toilet Paper

“What are you gonna do with all that?” I asked Mary.

“I’m taking it to Good Will,” she answered.

“No you’re not – we can use that!” I heard myself demand.

“Well, then here, do something with it,” she retorted.

006

It was a large plastic bag of toilet paper that Mary’s sandwich shop had accidentally received in its latest shipment. The rolls, some 50 of them, are for restrooms that do not need ‘tubed dispensers,’ and not surprisingly the supply company didn’t want them back

By now I sure you’ve heard of tubeless toilet paper, the latest fade for those who are truly eco-conscious. However, these rolls don’t have enough opening in the middle to insert a regular cylinder on which to properly dispense the product next to the can.

In fact, the rolls Mary’s shop received have barely enough of a hole from side to side to insert a large grade-school pencil. And that’s why Mary was going to give the stuff away.

But she forgot how cheap I am from time to time, and that propensity to be ‘Scrooge McDuck’ popped out of my mouth before I had thought out the literal inconvenience of such derriere wipe. And not wanting her to know this, I set about stacking in under the sink in our front bathroom.

Fortunately, it didn’t take me long to find a simple – though highly ‘red-necked’ — way of solving my problem. As soon as I got the last roll put away, I rushed out to the garage and my tool box.

There I located a large flat-head screwdriver. Back inside the house, I raced to the bathroom and slipped the tool through one end of the roll and out the other.

007

The upside is that with the problem solved and I’ve managed to cut our toilet paper budget in half for the time being! The downside: Only 49 more rolls to go.

Snake Charmer Pest Control

Rebecca was in the sun room, when Trevor heard her scream. He dashed from the back of the house to find his wife trembling from fright.

“What is it,” he asked.

Having caught her breath, she answered, “There’s a rattle snake out in the sun room.”

Relieved that it was something he could take care of, Trevor rushed to their garage and grabbed a shovel. He returned to the door leading into the sun room, when Rebecca stopped him.

“It might be scary to me,” she launched, “but you are not going to kill the poor thing!”

Frowning, Trevor asked, “So what the hell do you want me to do about it? Go talk to it and say nice snaky-snake, will you please leave our sun room and don’t scare Rebecca again?”

“Don’t be a smart-ass,” Rebecca scolded. “Call that pest company we keep seeing on TV.”

“You mean the one with the redheaded Irish gal?” Trevor wanted to know.

Rebecca shook her head, “Yeah, that one.”

Trevor pulled his smart phone from his back pocket and started thumbing through the apps until he found the one he wanted.

“‘Snake Charmer Pest Control,'” he demanded.

“I’m off to work,” Rebecca exclaimed giving Trevor a quick peck on the lips. “See you this evening!”

Trevor watched as she backed out of the driveway, waving. His mind quickly raced, “I could kill the damn thing now and she’d be none the wiser.”

Instead, he rethought the situation.

He had memorized the pest control company’s name because he thought the woman in the commercials was super attractive. The phone began to ring at the other end.

“Hello, Snake Charmer Pest Control, Fianna speakin’,” the breathy sound of a female Irish brogue answered.

‘Uh, hi,” Trevor started, surprised that the woman on the phone sounded remarkably similar to the woman on the commercials, “I have a snake in my sun room and need help getting it out.”

“Do ya know what kind of snake tis?” the woman asked.

“I think it’s a rattler,” he replied.

In return Fianna instructed him not to go near it as it could bite him and being very poisonous, it could make him sick or even kill him. Instead, she told Trevor, “Jus’ keep an eye on it, watch where it goes, don’t try to stop it and I’ll be there in less than half-an-hour.”

For the next 23 minutes, Trevor did exactly as instructed. He left his post only long enough to answer the door and invited Fianna inside.

She was a petite uniformed woman with a knockout body, beautiful blue eyes, dazzling white smile and flaming red hair. He invited her inside and directed her towards the sun room.

He could feel his pulse pick up as she gently slipped by him and into the sun room.

“Ah, how cute, he’s sunnin’ himself,” she quipped, adding, “Soakin’ up the sun helps their metabolism.”

Fianna turned and left the way she came. In less than two minutes she was back, carrying a long pole with a slight crook on one end, and a large plastic bucket with a lid.

Without a word she went to work. In no time at all Fianna had the snake in the bucket and the lid sealed.

“I’ll be right back,” she chimed as she headed out the door again.

Trevor couldn’t help but stand in the door way watching, feeling smitten with Fianna. She was so much prettier in person than on TV and she nice to boot.

She looked up and smiled at him from the back of her suburban. He looked away, slightly embarrassed but also turned on after she caught him and she winked at him.

Trevor didn’t know it at the moment, but he was trapped. She came bounding into the house and held out her hand.

Mesmerized, Trevor found himself leaning his head towards her, feeling her soft, warm skin against his face. It felt so natural, that he didn’t think twice as he drew closer, feeling her arm as it drew him into her.

Trevor kissed her shoulder, and then flicked his tongue wildly against the pale skin of her neck. The act frightened Trevor and he instantly recoiled in horror as he felt Fianna’s hand clamp down on him.

But it was too late, as Fianna coyly hissed at him, “Oh, silly man – you were too easy to read and now you be no longer harmin’ women’s hearts.”

In a matter of seconds, Trevor found himself locked inside a bucket, the lid tightly closed, containing the snake that he had become.

‘The Revenant’ and Jed Smith

The film, “The Revenant,” is an epic tale on a personal scale. It’s based on the true story of Hugh Glass, who while hunting beaver on the Missouri River is attacked by a bear, left for dead by fur trappers and finds the strength to crawl 200 miles in pursuit of his faithless friends.

It was 1971, when I first learned about this event. My mom and dad loaded up the station wagon with us kid’s and we drove to Brookings, Oregon and Red’s Drive-in to see the movie, “Man in the Wilderness,” starring Richard Harris as ‘Zachary Bass,’ and John Huston as ‘Captain Henry.’

But what few people know is that Hugh Glass’ story has a parallel to one of the most important explorers of Del Norte County, California’s history. Glass was not only a contemporary of Jedediah Smith, but the two were a part of the same expedition when each was brutally mauled by a Grizzly.

In 1822, Smith and Glass responded to an advertisement in the Missouri Gazette and Public Advertiser placed by General William Henry Ashley, which called for 100 men as part of a fur-trading venture. Many other soon-to-be famous mountain men also joined, including James Beckwourth, Thomas Fitzpatrick, David Jackson, John Fitzgerald, William Sublette and Jim Bridger.

In August 1823, near the forks of the Grand River in present-day Perkins County, South Dakota, while scouting for game, Glass surprised a grizzly bear with two cubs. The bear charged, picked him up, and threw him to the ground.

Glass managed to kill the bear with help from his trapping partners, Fitzgerald and Bridger, but was left badly mauled and unconscious. Ashley, who was also with them, became convinced he would not survive his injuries.

He then asked the pair stay with Glass until he died, and then bury him. And as the rest of the party moved on, they began digging his grave.

They were interrupted by attacking Arikara, and grabbing Glass’s rifle, knife, and other equipment, ran for their lives. Both men later caught up with the party and incorrectly reported to Ashley that Glass had died.

Glass, however regained consciousness only to find himself abandoned, and without his rifle or equipment. By this time had festering wounds, a broken leg, and cuts on his back that exposed his fractured ribs.

Glass set his own leg; wrapped himself in the bear hide Bridger and Fitzgerald had placed over him as a shroud, and began crawling. He headed south toward the Cheyenne River, where he fashioned a crude raft and floated downstream to Fort Kiowa.

It took him six weeks.

During that time, he survived on wild berries and roots and was even able to drive two wolves away from a downed bison calf, and feast on the meat. Glass was eventually aided by friendly Indians who sewed a bear hide to his back to cover the exposed wounds and provided him with food and weapons.

After recovering, Glass set out again to find Fitzgerald and Bridger. He eventually traveled to Fort Henry on the Yellowstone River, but found it deserted.

A note indicated that the company had relocated to a new camp at the mouth of the Bighorn River. Arriving there, Glass found Bridger, forgave him and re-enlisted with Ashley’s company.

In early 1824, Glass, along with four others, were sent to find a new trapping route, by going up the Powder River, then across and down the Platte River to the bluffs. Near the junction with the Laramie River, they discovered a settlement of some 38 lodges.

Initially, they thought them to be Pawnees, but after going ashore they realized they were Arikara. The men quickly got in their boat and paddled for the far shore, with the ensuing chase ending with both parties landing at the same time.

Two of the men, Marsh and Dutton, escaped, however E. More and A. Chapman, were quickly overtaken and killed. That May, Dutton and Marsh reached Fort Atkinson, where they reported that Moore, Chapman and Glass were all dead.

Glass, though had managed to hide, laying low until after dark, where he slipped away, falling in with a party of Sioux, traveling to Fort Kiowa. From there he descended the river to Council Bluffs, where he was reunited with Dutton and More.

Glass later learned that Fitzgerald had joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Atkinson in present-day Nebraska. He traveled there, where Fitzgerald returned his rifle.

Glass was eventually killed by the Arikara along the Yellowstone River in the winter of 1833.

In the fall of the same year that Glass was mauled and left for dead, Smith and16 men traveled downriver to Fort Kiowa to make their way overland to the Rocky Mountains. While looking for the Crow tribe to obtain fresh horses and get westward directions, Smith was attacked by a grizzly bear.

By the time the attack ended, Smith’s ribs were broken and his scalp and ear were nearly ripped off. He had to convince his friend, Jim Clyman, to sew it back on while giving him directions.

For the rest of his life, Smith wore his hair long to cover the large scar that remained from his eyebrow to his ear. On May 18, 1828, Smith and his party entered what would eventually become Del Norte County, setting up camp along Klamath River.

Noah

Over the past three months I’ve been struggling in my prayer life. I haven’t felt the presence of Holy Spirit in a very long time and I am not used to this.

Rather then dwell on it; I’ve redoubled my efforts by praying every opportunity I get. Furthermore, I returned to taking daily walks around the neighborhood, to not only get some fresh air and exercise, but to allow myself time to think.

For me, thinking is a form of prayer – depending on what I might be in thought over. I generally don’t have a specific subject in mind, instead I simply let go and mull over whatever randomly pops into my noggin.

During a recent walk I was summing up the human condition, “People have been stupid since before Noah hung up his hammer to become a sailor — and I’m no different.”

As I finished the thought, I noticed a woman walking a dog on one of those long-lead training leashes. Upon seeing me, the dog ran half way into the street trying to get over to where I was walking.

“Noah!” she shouted at the dog, “Get back here!”

My heart skipped a beat at the realization that God had to be listening to me. I couldn’t help but look up and quip, “Out of everything I’ve said — that’s what you decide to respond to?”

It’s also hard not to notice that ‘dog’ spelled backwards is ‘god.’ Sometimes I find His sense of humor more than a little dry.

Mr. Jones, Hero

Jonesy stood across the street, in the shadow of a doorway. The 22-year-old had been there for a couple of hours, casing the liquor store, waiting for street to grow empty.

It wasn’t like this was the first time he’d knocked off a place for money. Less than 10-hours before, Jonesy had held-up a gas station in Vernal, Utah, locking the old man in the supply closet, grabbing 30 bucks and stealing his truck.

That’s how he came to be in Reno, Nevada, planning yet another robbery. This time, the mom and pop liquor store, which he now stood across the street from.

“Odd,” he thought, “I don’t seem to be scared to do this shit anymore.”

Jonesy reflected back on the one time in his life that he’d been really scared, so scared he was nearly paralyzed – uncertain if the Gooks would kill him first or if the weather would. It was also the only time in his adult life that he prayed to God for mercy.

It was also the first time he’d ever been outside the United States, and he found himself in what he believed to be a god-forsaken country, fighting jus’ to survive. Chosin wasn’t even on most maps and yet he and his Marine buddies were trapped there, freezing and dying.

When the order came to move out, Jonesy recalled being relieved, “At least we’re gonna do something besides sit on our asses and die without a fight.”

The 78 mile trek from the reservoir to Hungnam left a lot of men dead, and those who had survived, emotionally damaged. That was nearly six-years ago and Jonesy still couldn’t get over the nightmares that terrorized him when he fell asleep.

He looked at his watch. Jonesy had it all planned out: hit the store, locked the woman behind the counter in a back room, grab the money and maybe a bottle of booze and then rush to the Mapes Hotel down the street, buy a ticket to San Francisco and hop the Greyhound jus’ as it pulls out of town.

Stepping out onto the sidewalk, Jonesy felt for the .45 in his waist band. He knew it was there, but it helped reassure him that nothing would go wrong with his planned heist.

The pistol was a hold over from his time in Korea. In fact, besides the boots he was wearing, the old rattle-trap was the only thing he’d managed to hang onto from that awful period in his life.

Up until that time, he’d never killed a man. But after wards, he could never say that again.

The pistol played a crucial role in keeping him and five of his buddies’ alive one night.

It began with the Skipper getting killed by a sniper. The ‘old man’ as they liked to call him never heard the rifle report or felt the piece of lead that slammed into his forehead.

He was dead before he hit the icy ground.

Jonesy was the first to react, grabbing the Colt from the dead man’s hand and firing into the rushing Chi-com’s as they tried to over run their position. Nine shots, nine dead Chink’s within a matter of seconds.

By that time, other Jarhead’s had begun blasting away into the darkness, ending the sneak attack that had killed the young officer lying at Jonesy’s feet. It wouldn’t be the last charge of the night – nor would those nine dead Slant-eye’s be the last Jonesy would send to hell during the fight.

Jonesy was a natural with the .45 and with the Gunny’s blessing, he kept the pistol even after shipping back state-side. Reassurance, that’s what the gun meant to him then and it meant the same now.

He crossed the street, pausing to look up and down the sidewalk. Jonesy saw only one man and the fellow was walking towards him at a fast clip and this concerned the Marine-turned-criminal.

“Something’s wrong,” Jonesy mumbled, as he watched the lone figure dart into the liquor store ahead of him.

Jonesy slipped the pistol from his waist band and thumbed the hammer back. He knew at the first sound of gun fire, that his plan had gone to hell in a heartbeat.

Suddenly, the door swung open, the little bell attached to door frame above it, ringing violently and Jonesy found himself standing face-to-face with a man pointing a revolver at him. Instinct kicked in and Jonesy leveled his .45 at the guy.

Flames erupted from both weapons simultaneously. He tried to side step the muzzle blast but instead Jonesy found himself falling backward as if in slow motion.

He dropped hard onto the sidewalk, the force seeming as if he’d been struck by a baseball bat. Still in combat-mode, Jonesy raised his pistol and fired three quick rounds into the man who was still holding the gun as if he planned to shoot again.

The bullets smashed into the man’s chest and he stepped back against the brick wall before slowly sliding sideways and down to the sidewalk. He was dead, staring off into the great void that only those passing from the living world would ever know.

A searing pain burned through Jonesy’s entire body as he lay against the cool concrete. He brushed his hand over his stomach, finding a hole jus’ below his navel.

Jonesy knew then that he was going to miss the 9:45 to Frisco. And for only the second time in his adult life he prayed to God, this time for grace.

“How long have I been here?” he choked out the words to the nurse as she hovered beside him.

“Four days,” she smiled as she offered him a sip of water.

“Where am I?” Jonesy asked.

The nurse smiled kindly, “You’re in the hospital. You were shot and you lost a lot of blood.”

The memory came to him like a jolt. He looked around the room puzzled, wondering why there were no cops around, but instead the room was filled with floral arrangements.

He waved a hand in a half-circular movement and asked, “What’s all this?”

“Flowers from well-wishers,” she responded.

“I…don’t…I don’t’ understand,” Jonesy replied.

“The man you who shot you,” she explained, “and whom you shot and killed – he was a very bad man – a baby-killer even. You’re a hero, Mr. Jones.”

She quickly fluffed the pillows under his head and shoulders, and stated, “I’ll be back. I need to let someone know that you’re awake.”

Sometime later a man wearing a stained trench-style coat, a weather-beaten fedora and smelling of stale cigars and strong coffee entered the room. Right away, Jonesy knew he was a police detective.

The man identified himself and explained what had happened and how it had been touch-and-go with Jonesy, but the doc’s were able to keep him alive. He also explained how the man that shot him had killed an entire family jus’ over the hill in California.

“You’re a hero, a genuine hero, Mr. Jones,” the cop stated. “We ran your background, a decorated war vet and now this.”

“But…” Jonesy started, “You don’t understand…”

“Ain’t nothing to understand,” the cop interrupted. “You killed a murderer right after he robbed that liquor store and shot Mrs. Pavlovich to death in cold blood.”

Jonesy shook his head, “No – you don’t get it. I was planning to knock that store off myself. I’m a crook!”

The ex-flat-foot didn’t look the least surprised, “Not today, you’re not.”

Jonesy looked up at him, confused and speechless.

The cop chuckled, “Enjoy it while you can,” adding, “You’ve earned it,” as he slipped out of the hospital room.

Harry Reid Wants to Retire With ‘Slush Fund’

Senator Harry Reid wants the Federal Election Commission to create an exemption allowing him to spend $600,000 in unspent campaign and PAC funds on personal matters as he retires from office. The FEC deferred action on the request.

Reid also wants to hire a full-time assistant to help in this effort. Part of the assistant’s duties would be to “schedule and organize appearances in which Senator Reid will discuss his tenure in office…”

Democrat commissioner Ann Ravel defended the request during the open meeting, stating the use of the funds in such a way would be the “appropriate mechanism for a person who will continue to be doing a public service as a historic figure in our country, to achieve purposes that are important to the American public.”

Reid has been in trouble with the commission over the personal use of campaign funds in the past. In 2006, Reid used campaign funds to pay $3,300 in bonuses to the doorman and other support workers at his residence at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.

In March 2014 he agreed to reimburse $16,787 his campaign gave to his granddaughter Ryan Elisabeth Reid in 2013 for what was described as payments for “holiday gifts.” At the time, the federal disclosures showed the campaign paid another $14,481 to Reid’s granddaughter in 2012, bringing to $31,268 the total paid to her in 2012 and 2013 to purchase gifts for Reid’s support staff.

Transistor Radios and Ear-plugs

It was the only time that Judge Hopper called me by name. It surprised me as I didn’t even know the stogie-chewing old man knew who I was at the time.

“Tommy,” he shouted.

Shocked or not, I knew to answer him right away with a quick, “Yes, sir,” as I didn’t want it to get back to Mom that I was being rude.

“Come here, son,” he growled, “I got something here for you.”

Up the driveway I ran to the entrance of his garage. It was one of the few times I recall seeing it open.

He came shuffling out with a small red and white rectangular object in his hand and held it out for me to take. He frightened me, so I hesitated.

“You want it or not?’ he asked.

“Yes, sir – I do,” I respond though I still had no idea what it was he was giving me.

Taking it from him, he turned and shuffled back inside his garage, disappearing into its darkness.

“Thank you,” I called out to him as the garage door started down and he disappeared into his house.

Looking down, I quickly realized it was a transistor radio that he had given me; one of those people got for smoking cigarettes. This one read, “Marlboro,” and I was as pleased as punch as I turned it on and it worked.

Mom had an ear-plug for jus’ such a radio, but I had to get it on the Q.T., as I was more than certain that if she saw what it read, I would have to give it back. (Odd, since Mom had been smoking unfiltered Pall-Mall’s in the red pack since she was 12.)

Back then an ear-plug was what is now known as a ‘monaural earpiece,’ that fit inside the ear and came with a plastic-shrouded piece of wire that fit over the backside of the ear. Today, it’s known as an ear-bud and they are a thousand-times more comfortable.

So being sneaky, I took it to my room and tucked it under my pillow. Next, I rummaged through what we called the ‘junk drawer,’ until I found the ear-plug – and returned with it to my room.

That night I began my life-long ‘love affair’ with radio as I listened to one of the only two AM radio stations I could get on the little transistor radio. From then on throughout the rest of winter, every chance I got, I had the radio on and my ear-plug in.

Summer was no different, only I would take the little radio outside and listen to it without the ear-plug. Life was grand and I knew it.

Then it happened, I left it sitting on the back bumper of Dad’s truck and it disappeared, never to be seen again. But by then, the broadcasting-bug had hit me and I knew that I wanted to give it a try.

It’s also the only time I’ve owned anything that advertises a tobacco product.

Goodbye 2015

New beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmation of love and promises for a brighter future all come to mind as we ring in a New Year. There are the superficial, yet purposeful, promises we make to ourselves.

We resolve to get in shape, lose weight, improve career paths, and the like. Then, there are the heartfelt promises we make to others, whether aloud or in our minds.

We want to care more, express love more, reverse bad feelings in old relationships or seek out new loving relationships. We try our very best to put these desires into words.

The year 2016 is like a blank page, and the pen is in your hand. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself.

With a heart full of love and gratitude, I wish you a very Happy New Year.

Coyote Goes For a Dip

Driving up the hill, I could see the Animal Control Officer standing by the ice shrouded pond. About 20 feet away was another lady, jus’ standing there.

They were both focused on something splashing around in the water; that something was a dog. So I pulled over to see if I could lend a hand.

She was rushing around the far end of the pond, using her looped-pole to try snagging the floundering animal. However it wasn’t long enough to reach and it was obvious she didn’t want to step into the freezing ice-water.

“Here,” I called to her, “Let me try.”

She briskly shook her head, “You’re not trained to use it.”

By this time the dog was using only one paw to stay afloat. I watched as its head slipped below the ice-encrusted surface several times, each time taking longer to resurface.

I knew it was now or never.

Removing my wallet from my pant pocket, I stuffed it in my jacket and handed them to the female bystander. Then I ran to the far side of the pond and jumped in.

Then with the butt-end my folding lock blade knife, I smashed through the layer of ice. While the pond wasn’t that deep, there was a lot of mud and while slowing me, I didn’t let it stop me as I pushed aside the broken ice fragments to get to the dying animal.

That’s when I realized it wasn’t a dog at all – but rather a coyote. The beast must have sensed I was there to help as it ceased struggling and allowed me to scruff it by the neck and tail, yank it from the water and toss it to the nearby snowy bank.

It laid there, panting heavily as I made my way over to it. As I crawled up on the bank next the coyote, I briskly rubbed its body and pushed down on its skinny chest a few of times to help get its circulation going faster.

With in 20 seconds it jumped to its feet, shook its self vigorously and sprang off towards the hillside. I pulled myself to my feet and walked briskly to my truck, where I knew the warmth of the heater would help stave off the onset of hypothermia.

Somewhere behind me I heard the Officer yell, “Are you fucking crazy?!”

Ignoring her question, I climbed in the cab, turned the ignition on and cranked the heater up. As I sat there enjoying the warmth, the female bystander came over to return my coat, which I quickly pulled on.

The lady then explained that it was her dogs that had chased the coyote into the ice and that the Officer was waiting for the Department of Wildlife to arrive.

Finally she said, “Thank you,” as she asked, “Are you okay?”

As I began to pull back onto the road, I smiled through my chattering teeth, “Y-e-e-s-s-s a-n-n-d-d-d y-y-o-o-u-r-r wel-wel-co-co-co-come.”

And to answer the Officer’s question: I suppose I am crazy.

“Hot and…”

While at the veterinarian’s office with one of our dogs, I asked for cup of coffee. It is something they offer to the ‘parent’s of their patients,’ and anytime I can get a fresh brewed cup o’ Joe, I’m all over it.

As the coffee finished gurgling through the maker, the young lady who was making it warned, “It’s not full, that way you can add sugar and cream to it if you’d like.”

“Thank you,” I returned, “But I like my coffee undiluted.”

The 30-something woman seated at the computer screen and answering phones, laughed and added, “He likes his coffee like he likes his women — hot and…”

She paused, catching herself before she completed the thought. She finally saved herself by finally saying, “…Strong,” to which the three of us laughed.

By this time her face was as red as if freshly sunburned. So not wishing to be outdone in the ‘not politically correct department,’ I put my hands backward on my hips and in my best-Robin-Williams- from-The –Bird-Cage impression, lisped, “Don’t tell my boyfriend that!”

The young woman who made my coffee for me pee’d herself from laughter, which caused a stir in the reception area with the other two women working on the cat-side of the counter. So I took that as a sign that I better get back to the examination room with my coffee before I caused anymore trouble.

The three of us could hardly look at one another as I slinked out the front door. I think we were afraid that by making direct eye-contact we’d start laughing again.

Losing to Meadowlark Lemon and the Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotter “Meadowlark” Lemon passed away at the age of 83. He played 24 seasons and by his own estimate more than 16,000 games with the Globetrotter organization.

It was the early 70’s and I remember watching his on court antics as a kid, and enjoying Saturday morning cartoons with his team mates solving some sort of problem by playing a friendly game of basketball. And if I remember correctly, they also appeared in a few “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” cartoons as well.

But the greatest ‘Globetrotter experience’ I had, was getting to run up and down the basketball court against him and his fellow Trotters in late 1979. Ironic thing is — I’ve never been very good at basketball, but I was the only person to sign up from the 90th Hospital Squadron, so I was an automatic pick.

Anyway, Meadowlark and crew were at Warren AFB, in Cheyenne, Wyoming for a charity basketball game against the Warren Airmen (or whatever we called ourselves.)  While we knew we would lose – we ran ourselves ragged trying to get our hands on the basketball and it wasn’t the least bit helpful when the Globetrotter’s did something that made everyone, including us, crack up with laughter.

I had so much fun that night, playing for whatever charity, that I never knew what the score was in the end.

A Tenuous Connection

Perhaps you’ve heard the old saw: “Things happen for a reason.” Well, it seems that Star Wars is running through my son’s and my life, over 32-years after I found myself involved in “Return of the Jedi.”

This thought came to me as we sat watching the new movie over the weekend. Hopefully, I can explain myself well enough not be considered ‘too far’ out there.

Kyle works for an electronics company, where they create, box up and ship electronic parts all around the world. One of the many thousands and thousands of orders he’s helped work on these past few months has been parts for a new droid character in this latest Star War’s film, “The Force Awakens,” known as BB-8.

Made of two spheres, BB-8 includes a large ball for the body and a smaller one for the head. Disney licensed the BB-8 character to Sphero in July 2014, which in turn hired Kyle’s employer to produce, package and distribute the electronic pieces.

Having worked as Mark Hamill’s stand-in and stunt-double when I was 23-years-old, the Star War’s saga has managed to cross-sect 23-year-old Kyle’s life and mine more than three-decades later. I know – the link is very thin – but there it is.

Flashing Lights and Flashing Lights

So schools in the Reno/Sparks area are out for winter break — or Christmas break as we used to say in the old days. Despite that, the school zone light’s near my home continue to flash meaning (in Nevada) you’re supposed to slow down to 15 miles per hour.

So the question becomes: Do I drop down to the required speed limit or drive on as if the flashing lights mean absolutely nothing? Yeah — fool me once…

So I slow down to 15 miles per hour. In no time I have three vehicles stacked up behind me and I can tell they’re feeling less than Christmassy towards me.

Without warning, and from where the cruiser came, I don’t know. But he jumped right in behind me and flipped on his siren and flashing lights.

“Oh, crap,” I shouted at the dashboard, “Now what did I do?!”

Wasting no time, I pulled out my driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, which the man-behind-the-badge didn’t fail to ask for. He looked them over to make certain they were all up to date.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” he asked.

“No,” I answered.

“You were going only 15 miles an hour when the speed limit is 35,” he politely explained.

“Yes. I know I was, but…” I started to reply.

“You must not have children,” he interrupted.

“Not school aged, no,” I agreed.

“Well, schools out and there’s no reason to do anything other than the posted speed limit, even with the lights flashing,” he continued.

“Oh, good — then you saw them too,” I returned.

He furrowed his brow in a puzzled expression, but before he could say anything, I told him that I’d been ticketed a few years ago for speeding through a school zone in spite of school being out for the summer. I also explained that I didn’t want to get another ticket and waste my time or the courts time jus’ to get it dismissed.

“Gotch’ya,” he stated as he handed me my paperwork adding, “Have yourself a Merry Christmas.”

“You, too,” I called back as he walked to his cruiser, adding, “Stay safe and Happy New Year as well.”

The Truth Behind the Firing of a Lunch Lady

While working as Irving Middle School in Pocatello, Idaho, Dalene Bowden was caught giving a lunch to a girl who supposedly didn’t have the money to pay for it. Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 immediately terminated her employment because of her theft of school district property.

Yes – school district property — which is paid for through both federal and state taxes and isn’t hers to give away as she sees fit.

The ex-lunch lady claims she’s never been written up or reprimanded on the job, though she did receive a verbal warning once for giving a student a cookie. And since she has a history such activity – it goes to show that she has a personal agenda.

Bowden should have paid for the $1.70 lunch if she truly wanted to help the child before stealing it in order to give it away. So simply put, she’s a thief – so why the hell is she being portrayed as some sort of hero by the press and social media?

Because no one has taken the time to look beyond the ‘bleeding heart story-line,’ of some poor wayward child being starved by the fascistic government bureaucracy, which is all bogus in the first place. After all, the girl Bowden gave the lunch had money enough pay for the lunch herself, but ain’t anyone talking about that.

And now the district is bowing to public pressure and in ‘the spirit of the holiday,’ is offering to reinstate the woman. Meanwhile a gofundme.com account has been set up help Bowden fund action against the district.

As my grandpa used to say, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Best Friends

It was Christmastime 1969, when my best friend and I got off the bus, arguing over whether Santa Claus was real or not. He said ‘no’ and I said ‘yes.’

My conviction was so strong that I eventually picked a fight with him and we both ended up in the principal’s office. I explained that I had jus’ seen a program on TV that took viewers on a tour of Santa’s Reindeer Ranch.

In the end we were both had to spend all of our recesses that day standing against the supply shed, watching everyone else play. Eventually, he moved away, his father having been reassigned to another air base and I soon forgot his name.

Not being able to remember his name always bugged me.

It was later summer, nearly 46-years later when Kay Vail, a friend from high school contacted me, saying she and her husband were in town and wanted to get together. I jumped at the chance.

It was during dinner that Kay’s husband, Steve started reminiscing about how he had attended Margaret Keating School his third grade year. He also talked about playing with the kid’s who live on both sides of Camp Marigold and how he was best friends with one boy right across the fence from him.

Then he shared how he and his best buddy got into a fight and ended up in the principal’s office: “I can’t remember what the fight was about. And worse yet, I can’t recall the kid’s name that I was friends with.”

I nearly choked on my prime rib.

“Your dad was in the Air Force and you were waiting for a place to open up in base housing,” I interrupted. “And if you heard you dad call for you – you had to drop what ever it was you were doing and get home and your dad had a one of a kind holler, kind of like a bullhorn.”

“Yeah,” he responded as a semi puzzled look crossed his face.

“And that fight – it was over whether Santa Clause was real or not,” I added.

He knew it before I could finish my sentence, “It was me who started that fight and got you in trouble.”

All I could do was choke back the tears I felt welling up and offer him my hand, saying, “I’m sorry.”

“No big deal,” Steve chuckled as he gripped my hand, “We were jus’ kids.”

Campfire

(April 1997)

Match head strikes the grainy pad,
Miniature graphite stones glued in place,
Sparking up with flare and flame.
Bringing warmth and cooking heat.

No roar as it jumps to life.
Jus’ a gentle crackle from hunger,
Gobbling up leaves and twigs.
The tinder I set before the flame.

Smoke curls into my face,
Stinging my nose and eyes.
Yet I stare unblinkingly anyway
An’ breathe in as fully as I may.

In contrast, the whiteness of snowfall
Mixing with dirty brown wisps,
Called campfire smoke,
Blend with the orange glow of flame.

There is a stillness to the day
A quiet only natures’ voice affords,
With a campfire engulfing my mind
An’ snowflakes encircling my being.

Coffee is my great intent this morn’.
Grounds from last nights’ cup inside.
Stream water for to boil to brown mud.
Sitting, waiting, my one great reward.

Rumble then a chug, I wait and wait.
Smoke blows in my face, defiant,
Marking me with it’s burnt odor breath,
Angry that it works so hard while I sit.

Snow falling is quiet to the untrained ear,
Speaking loudly to anyone will to listen —
Wanting of a simple conversation
‘Tween cup of coffee and campfire.

My mind drifts away for a moment,
Lost on breeze and dancing snowflake
An’ the smoke forged in a campfire.
I could live like this — always.

“Would I have been able to survive?”
I asked thinking ’bout blade striking bone.
“Probably not,” I conclude
Content with the present life I live.

All Things Being Equal — But Aren’t

The Obama White Administration is continuing its pushing to have women assume combat roles. However, the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) has released statistics showing there’s no such thing as combat equality.

  • Females are injured at twice the rate of men in basic training.
  • Females suffer a rate of stress that’s four times higher than men.
  • Females on active duty suffer depression at more than twice the rate of men and “one of the triggers is exposure to combat” and “not adjusting to Army life.”
  • Females suffer a 50-percent higher rate of anxiety.
  • Females suffer the same rate of Post Traumatic Stress as men.
  • Females have twice the injury rates of men when carrying 70 pounds of gear.
  • Females arrive at basic training less fit than men.

The head of the CMR, Elaine Donnelly, says the results are a “scandal in the making” because there’s “no indication that young women …will be informed of the additional risk over and above what men do.”

Why the Rule of Law Matters

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport filed a complaint with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency over the treatment of a 15-year-old Mexican girl who was detained and questioned after arriving in Reno to visit family for the holidays. CBP officers claim she was taken aside because she had overstayed her travel visa by 11 days during a previous visit to the U.S.

Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority board chairman Andy Wirth and Marily Mora, the president and CEO of the airport filed the formal complaint on December 16 after the teen was denied contact with her family, who was not informed of the situation until about three hours after her arrival. The complaint also says the girl was left alone with an adult male, not given food until after she was questioned and that her family was “treated with sarcasm and disrespect while waiting…”

Wirth, who has a daughter about the same age as the detained teen, said: “If my daughter had received this treatment while traveling to any country, particularly to a neighboring, friendly country — I would be incensed, absolutely incensed.”

Reno City Ward 3 Councilman Oscar Delgado said complaints began this summer with reports of waits to get through customs lasting up to six hours: “There is a mistreatment taking place. There is an aggressive tone taken by CBP with respects to citizens and guests coming to the city of Reno.”

Frank Falcon, a spokesman for CBP in San Francisco, claimed he hadn’t heard of the situation until called by reporters. He did say though that overstaying a visa is a federal violation that can result in deportation, depending on the specific situation.

“Rules are rules, but we definitely look at minors differently. It’s a case by case basis though. There are so many different circumstances,” Falcon said.

This is a chance for all parties involved to learn something: when few people are following the rules as in this situation — this is what happens in an unruly society.

Their Successful Year

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting the idea that congressional approval of $50 billion in new spending for 2016 shows that Democrats still run Capitol Hill, and defended the huge spending bill as a necessary compromise between the two parties.

“Republicans felt like we needed [to be] responsive to the foreign policy threat that we’ve just been talking about, to spend more on defense,” he said. “And so, in order to achieve that, we had to work with a Democratic president who wanted to spend more on the domestic side.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan defended — but distanced himself from the $1.1 trillion spending bill Congress passed.

“This is divided government, and in divided government you don’t get everything you want,” Ryan said.

Ryan put responsibility for the agreement on his predecessor, former Speaker John Boehner claiming the bill was largely negotiated when he became speaker seven weeks ago.

“I walked into the speakership seven weeks ago with this process already in place, with this cake already baked,” claimed Ryan.

Democrats praised passage of the deal, crowing that they were able to force the GOP to agree to increase domestic spending as President Obama demanded. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid even said the bill capped off a “successful year” for Democrats.

Not only does it increase domestic spending, it also funds Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, it doesn’t place restrictions on the admittance of middle eastern refugees to the U.S.

Obama’s Anti-gun Cell Phone

For the last few weeks I’ve been waiting for President Obama to enact an Executive Order that would somehow restrict the purchase of firearms for people whose name appears on the federal no-fly list. However, instead of using his pen, he used his cell phone.

It became apparent when Obama and his senior advisor Valerie Jarrett met with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss the issue at the White House. Bloomberg, a notorious leader of nanny-state Progressive policies has dedicated billions of his own personal fortune to press for gun control all across America.

Following this meeting, the Obama administration began working on state-by-state bans. For instance, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy plans to use of an executive order to ban gun sales to people on the federal no-fly list, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Senator Charles Schumer are demanding federal government either pass the law or release the lists to state’s so they can create their own bans.

This isn’t jus’ a Eastern U.S. plan either as Nevada lawmakers have been asked by Congressional candidate and current state Senator Ruben Kihuen to take up legislation that ban gun sales to people on the federal no-fly list. Kihuen says the measure would help keep visitors safe when they visit Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve.

Fortunately, two-thirds of legislators in both Republican-controlled houses must agree on calling a session to make it happen. So far no one’s jumped on Kihuen’s band wagon.

“I don’t believe there’s any chance that two-thirds of us are going to agree to call ourselves together for a particular matter,” said State Senator James Settelmeyer. “I think it’s, sadly, pandering.”

And since I don’t have to be polite about it – I’ll call it what it is — bullshit!

Cell Phones, Propane Tanks and Pipe Bombs

A group of “Middle Eastern” men asking about the hydroelectric facility at Bagnell Dam in Camden County, Missouri have garnered the attention of the FBI. The men wanted to know if they could rent a boat and tour the dam.

Police say the report does not mean that there is any reason to be overly concerned. However, if you couple the report to the one’s where large number of cell phones were purchased at several mid-Missouri Walmart stores then there is something to be concerned over.

Two “foreign speaking” men set off alarms after they entered the local Walmart store in Lebanon, Missouri by purchasing 60 cell phones. This was followed by second purchase of dozens of cell phones at a Columbia Walmart, a third Walmart in Macon, Missouri and a fourth Walmart in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Now if this isn’t enough to raise a ‘red flag’ for law enforcement, take into account the large number of propane tanks stolen from several locations in Independence and Lee`s Summit, Missouri. Over 48 tanks were taken from a BP gas station and two CVS Pharmacy’s.

Following the thefts, a stash of explosives was discovered in Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. Officers found a huge cache of “extremely volatile” explosives, which police described to be of a style “that could not be purchased for recreational use.”

The extensive supply was all homemade pipe bombs, created and collected with a specific plan in mind. The stock was so dangerous that it couldn’t be safely moved and had to be detonated in place.

In March of 2015, a hit list from Daesh (ISIS) included the name and information of an Air Force member from Missouri. The state’s home to Whiteman Air Force Base in Johnson, Fort Leonard Wood Army Base in Pulaski and the Marine Corps’ Mobilization Command in Kansas City.

Of course, Snopes, the online debunking site, wants you to believe that none of this is happening.

My Gun Argument Goes to the Dogs

The group ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) is lending its support to an organization that aims to have Pit Bulls banned in the U.S. This organization is described as “a North American coalition of over 50 Pit Bull attack victim support groups, websites and major nonprofit organizations,” according to PETA’s website.

It alleges that Pit Bulls are problematic animals, dogs that it stereotypes as being dangerous to people, families, pets and farm animals and causing problems for taxpayers, shelters, law enforcement agencies. PETA believes killing healthy Pit Bulls saves them from abuse and that it is better to kill them than have them be abused.

A lot of animal rights people are up in arms over this and I am one of them. We cannot wrap our brains around the idea that banning an entire breed of dog is going to somehow make the world a safer place.

It’s easy for me to understand how they are unable to comprehend such an ignorant plan as I have the same difficulty understanding how people can claim that banning a particular type of gun, or gun component will make the world a safer place. It jus’ makes no damned sense.

Sticky Situation

While waiting in my truck at the local grocery store for my neighbor, a Jeep pulled into the spot next to me and a young couple got out. The guy was driving and the woman was on the passenger side, the side closest to me.

She stood there twisting and contorting, trying to see behind her as she ran her left hand over her derriere. Next she checked the seat for whatever it was she was looking for and apparently found nothing.

She quickly returned to her twisting and contorting, announcing aloud, “I dropped my gum and can’t find it,” adding, “I think it’s stuck to my ass.”

Without thinking, I responded, “Nope, I don’t see it.”

She turned, looked at me and smiled. Bending her bejeweled jean rear-end towards me, she asked in a joking way, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I replied as I turned bright red from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

She smiled, “Thanks,” and laughed as she shut the Jeep door and headed towards her boyfriend.

It was from him that I learned their relationship and he wasn’t the least bit pleasant about it, yelling, “What the hell are you looking at my girlfriend’s ass for?”

“Because he’s yelling at me!” I sarcastically shouted.

My retort caught him off guard and for a few seconds he was quiet, mouth open, but jaw moving. I took that time to slip my truck into gear and drive away from the coming confrontation.

As I zipped across the open parking lot, I looked back to see the woman pointing at her boyfriend laughing like there were no tomorrow. It was also obvious that he was madder than a wet hen.

I sped out of the parking lot, forgetting all about my neighbor, who ended up walking home with two bags of groceries.

MSNBC’s Stupidity Strikes Back

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s pissed over Star Wars and how Darth Vader is Black, but when he dies he becomes White. Ah, hell I’ll let the stupid woman explain it herself.

“I know why I have feelings — good, bad, and otherwise — about Star Wars. And I have a lot. I could spend the whole day talking about the whole Darth Vader situation.”

The dumb bitch is only 38-years behind in her rant.

“Yeah, like, the part where he was totally a black guy whose name basically was James Earl Jones, who, and we were all, but while he was black, he was terrible and bad and awful and used to cut off white men’s hands, and didn’t, you know, actually claim his son.”

As if it would have made sense for an obviously white leading character to have had a father who was not white, she then griped: “But as soon as he claims his son and goes over to the good, he takes off his mask and he is white. Yes, I have many, many feelings about that, but I will try to put them over here.”

Why’s this fucking idiot even on television — and more over – why does anyone watch her show? She’s nothing but a race-bating, feminazi who has nothing better to do than stir up hatred – especially where none exists.

Oh, how I’d love to be so completely politically incorrect and call her a name she truly deserves — but why lower myself.

Life Lesson #30

Stop being ungrateful.
No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.
Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.
Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Is Harry Reid in on the Faraday Future Deal?

A Chinese-backed and California-based Faraday Future plans to build a $1 billion electric car manufacturing plant outside Las Vegas, with billionaire Chinese investor Jia Yueting as the company’s major financial backer. From the onset of this news, I’ve been trying to puzzle-out if Senator Harry Reid had anything to do with it, because it sounds like his ‘kind of deal.’

Well, it could be as simple the fact that the new plant will be built inside Apex Industrial Park. Now Apex is managed by Land Development Associates, whose President is Dave Brown, a friend to Key Reid and son of Jay Brown.

But I’m betting it not that simple as Nevada politics is like Kabuki Theater.

Jay Brown is under investigation in Utah for an alleged bribery scheme embroiling Utah Attorney General John Swallow. In Reid’s 2009 autobiography, ‘The Good Fight,’ Reid calls Brown a “longtime friend,” with the families close to the point that their kids frequently played with one another while growing up.

Could be, I have the wrong Brown in mind — but I know that I don’t.

When you look at Reid’s past, there are his connections to the Chinese-back solar-power ENN Mojave Energy, where Reid, through confederates, tried to sell land to the now defunct company for a solar-panel farm. Add to this how Reid introduced Anthony Marnell II, chairman of XpressWest, another Chinese-backed consortium to Elon Musk, the owner of another well known electric car company called Tesla Motors.

Oddly, Musk had already announced plans to move his Hyperloop Technologies Inc. into the same Apex Industrial Park as Faraday prior to Yueting’s decision. To make this seem even more conspiratorial, four of the top five employees Faraday hired are all formerly of Tesla Motors.

Hyperloop, as described by Musk, will provide high-speed travel between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In 2012 Hyperloop Technologies formed a relationship with China Railway International USA, a consortium led by the Chinese government railway company, which has committed $100 million to the XpressWest project.

Then in September 2014 Reid met with executives from Hyperloop Technologies, where he was asked to introduce Musk and Marnell. As far as anyone can tell, that’s all that came out of that meeting, so at this point, where and how all of this shakes out is anyone’s guess.

Jack Joseph Brosnan, 1924-2015

“There was a time in Reno when the casino workers’ best friend was Jack Joseph. When they got off swing shift at midnight and went home to unwind, the late-night movies he hosted were the only thing on the air,” writes Dennis Myer of the Reno News and Review in August 2006.

Much of what Jack did on-air; either in radio or on the television would be considered hokey by today’s standards — with his down-home approach and corn-ball sense of humor — but in the 80’s he was the pinnacle that many in the broadcast business secretly want to be like. He knew how to get the stars talking and he knew how to get his audience involved.

Eventually, his show was cancelled and now only his coupons book are what newcomers to the area know him best for instead of his signature sign-off of, “blue skies, green lights and peace.” The “Jack Joseph Coupon Books” are still delivered to area mailboxes every month.

Born Jack Joseph Brosnan in Binghamton New York, August 25th, 1924, he passed away at the age of 91 on November 13th, 2015, in Reno, Nevada. Jack was preceded in death by his parents and two older sisters and is survived by his wife of 61 years Helen Kitt, daughter Jacqueline and cousins Edward, (Leslie) Ann, Michael and James Rapson.

Jack graduated from Central High in Syracuse New York and at the age of 18, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a member of B Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Regiment, 5th Marine Division, he was with the first wave to hit the beach during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Wounded twice during the battle, Jack was awarded he Purple Heart and was present for the raising of the U.S. flag on Mt. Suribachi.

Following World War II, he returned to school on the G.I. bill, graduating from Syracuse University to become a radio and TV announcer. His first gig was at WMBO in Auburn NY with a semi classical show called “The Jack J. Brosnan Show.”

Later he worked at WOLF, Syracuse NY; WGR in Buffalo, NY; WCLR, Clearfield, PA; WKKO, Cocoa Beach FL along the east coast. Moving west he could be heard on such notable stations as KTSM radio /TV, El Paso Texas and KSL radio /TV, Salt Lake City, Utah.

First arriving in Reno, Nevada, in 1962, Jack’s voice could be heard on KOH, KOLO radio/TV, and later on KCBN, broadcasting his shows live from the Waldorf restaurant on South Virginia Street in downtown Reno. He also hosted dance parties at the historic Riverside Hotel Casino and was even referred to as “The man who knew his music,” by Metronome and Down Beat magazines, both forerunners of today’s Rolling Stone and Billboard Magazines.

He hosted the TV shows, “‘The Jack Joseph Late Night Horror Show” and his “After Hours” show with many great movies and on camera interviews with performing artists and TV and movie stars that came to town. Jack also enjoyed broadcasting at the Reno Air Races and the Great Reno Balloon Races and was instrumental in starting the Catholic Mass TV, which still airs Sundays on KOLO TV.

In 2006, Jack was inducted into the Nevada Broadcast Hall of Fame. While I was working for KROW in Reno, I had the pleasure of getting to know him as he plied his one-of-a-kind craft, down the hallway from me at KNEV, during the early 90s.

There Are No Civilian’s in War

On June 6th of this year I responded to the Facebook meme by writing: “A person who returns fire isn’t a victim — they’re a combatant. LOL”

And I’m guessing Joseph Millard, some schmuck fro New Jersey, jus’ woke up from his slumber beneath whatever rock he was laying under and responded this morning, nearly six-months later, with: “So, when you miss your target and it kills an innocent by stander, what are you then. I prefer to live with civilians not combatants.”

“There are no civilians in war,” I returned, paraphrasing the comic book character, “Sgt. Rock,” of DC Comics fame.

Well, that must have got his panties twisted in a bunch because he really let me have it, responding to me as if he knows me or something:

“You live in a warzone Tom ? Didn’t know that Nevada got invaded. Sorry to here (sic) it. Were (sic) I live it is peaceful and we are civilians.

Also, you are a soldier Tom? What is your rank ? What unit are you in ? Who is your commanding officer ?

I see you are an ex-deputy reservist from your profile. You know we pay billions of dollars for Homeland security. The same that hunted down the bastards in CA and killed them.

So, what is the difference between being shot dead by a terrorist and shot dead by someone in a gun fight with a terrorists who missed his target ?

Not to mention I am not sure how being armed is going to prevent you from being shot at a Christmas party, unless you fell (sic) it is OK, to be at a Christmas part (sic), fully armed, and pointing a gun at every threat you deem necessary.

If you consider where you live a warzone and we are all combatants then I guess the terrorist have already won. We no longer have any peace, we no longer have the freedom because we are so busy judging and condemning each other.

That is mighty sad. I would hate to live where you live.”

Poor Joe is obviously an angry typist. But he jus’ had to open the door…

I shot back (no pun intended,) “It is only an armed citizenry that prevents tyranny, whether at a Christmas party by jihadi’s or by the federal government with its willing puppets and useful idiots. And no, not a soldier. First an Airmen and than a Marine. You, Joe? Ever stand a post?”

I’m betting he hasn’t and never will, preferring instead to let someone else do the harder things in life. But that’s another topic for another day.

And of course I couldn’t help pointing out his error in ‘thought,’ by adding: “And BTW — Homeland Security didn’t stop the jihadi terrorists in San Bernardino — the San Bernardino Police Department did that. In fact, the FBI was relegated to a secondary position while the local’s took the lead, killing both terrorists.”

The Coming End for the U.S. Dollar

Does the collapse of the U.S. dollar begin to speed up November 1? If it does, it could trigger an event worse than the current economic recession we find ourselves dealing with right now.

The International Monetary Fund’s executive board is scheduled to meet to decide on whether to include the yuan, also known as the renminbi, alongside the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound their ‘Special Drawing Rights.’ SDR is a less ominous way of saying ‘world money.’

If this happens, the Central Banks around the world will begin to off load some of their dollars to “spread the risk,” and in the end, without the dollar as the world currency, our dollar begins to become worth no more than the paper it is printed on. In fact, it’s possible that a yuan reserve currency will trigger a transfer of $1 trillion into Chinese assets in less than two years.

Much of the money pouring into the yuan will result in sales of U.S. Treasuries – how most governments hold dollars. When foreign governments start to dump the $6 trillion they hold, U.S. dollars will flood the market and trigger massive inflation.

Furthermore, the race to dump the U.S dollar has already started – even before we get a yuan reserve currency. The IMF’s plan to dethrone the U.S. dollar is in fact part of a larger scheme to put the IMF in charge of the world’s monetary system.

When it happens, another block in the “fundamental transformation of the United States,” will be complete.

Spanish Energy Company Goes Busts on Eve of Climate Summit

As President Obama and his entourage, including California Governor Jerry Brown, jet off to Paris on Air Force One to attend the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference that begins November 30, a new sustainable energy scandal has erupted.

Unfortunately, the Progressive media will cover the administration’s ass rather than cover the story.

Spain’s Abengoa SA, which received $3 billion in administration sustainable energy loans and Export-Import Bank guarantees, announced that it has started bankruptcy proceeding and may soon default on its debt. The company has 607 independent subsidiaries, 17 associates, 28 joint businesses and 244 temporary joint ventures spread out over more than 50 countries.

The complicated legal structure of Abengoa SA means that if it defaults, the Obama Administration cannot look to any of the other subsidiaries to collect on the $3 billion of loans and guarantees. Under Spanish law, the preliminary creditor protection request granted Abengoa SA is a four-month leeway to suspend debt payments while it negotiates with its creditors.

NSA’s Data Collection Program Reaches Milestone

The National Security Agency has supposedly ended its data collection of Americans’ phone records over the weekend. In its place will be a so-called ‘new, scaled-back system’ that has been in development over the last few months.

Under the law, the NSA and other law enforcement agencies are prohibited from collecting telephone-calling records in bulk to sniff out suspicious activity, a practice that was allowed under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act of 2001. Analysts must now get a court order to ask telecommunications companies to enable monitoring of call records for specific people or groups for a period of up to six months.

The new program came about as a part of the USA Freedom Act, which Congress passed at the end of May.

Crime Catching Up With Reid

Davis County, Utah Attorney Troy Rawlings is investigating Nevada Senator Harry Reid in connection with a pay-to-play scheme involving two former Utah attorneys general. Reid has denied wrongdoing since a businessman said in 2013 that a former Utah attorney general arranged a deal to pay the senator to get rid of a federal investigation into a software business.

Reid’s name came up as Rawlings looks into the actions of former Utah attorneys general John Shurtleff and John Swallow. The two were arrested after engaging in a scheme where they traded favors with businessmen in trouble with regulators during their combined 13 years running the state office.

Both Shurtleff and Swallow had dealings and received donations from indicted St. George businessman Jeremy Johnson in 2014. Court documents detail how Johnson sought Swallow’s help to ward off civil and criminal investigations into his company’s IWorks’ business interests.

Johnson went on to implicate Reid in two bribery schemes.

Other documents filed in 2014 lay out a series of email exchanges between Johnson, Swallow and the late Provo payday-loan magnate Richard Rawle. They show that Swallow was helping Johnson send funds through Rawle to a contact close to Reid in hopes of securing a meeting with the Senator.

Johnson claimed he needed Reid’s help to make a Federal Trade Commission case against him, disappear. The same documents show that Johnson sent Rawle $250,000, some of which allegedly went to Swallow.

Johnson recorded conversations between himself and Shurtleff which also include how a group of online poker business owners funneled $2 million to Reid in 2010 to get the Nevada Senator to introduce legislation legalizing online poker. Reid had promised Nevada’s gambling industry a federal law to legalize Internet poker by the end of 2012, calling it Nevada’s “most important issue” since the nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain was scuttled.

Swallow has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges and Shurtleff has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice charges. Both have trials scheduled in 2016.

A Bunch of Bubble Headed Idiots

A new challenge is going viral on social media, called the Condom Challenge. It’s supposed to raises awareness for safe sex, but experts say the challenge doesn’t explaining the benefits of condoms to teens, and comes off as a silly stunt.

How it works: a person takes a condom, fills it up with water, and then has a partner drop it over the top of his or her head. It forms a bubble around the persons face for several seconds before popping.

It seems to me that this ‘challenge’ is more about getting 15-seconds of fame than it is about ‘safe sex,’ — which in of itself is an oxymoron.

The National Media are Racists

So a White cop kills a Black teen, high on PCP and waving around a knife, by shooting him 16 times. That is a news story – but it is being misused for the benefit of an agenda.

After all a Black student from Jackson State University is accused of going on a shooting spree and randomly selecting his targets in Jackson, Mississippi, but the Progressive media remains silent. Move along — nothing to see here — or is there?

Both of the targets Zebulum Lael James took aim at were white women, Suzanne Hogan and Kristy Lynn Mitchell. James went on the shooting rampage November 20, killing Hogan as she pumped gas and then Mitchell in the parking lot of a Logan’s Roadhouse.

It doesn’t make sense that a ‘poop swastika’ creates fake outrage on the campus of Mizzou and the media practically has an orgasm trying to cover the manufactured protests, the football and hunger strikes and the safe places, while the murder of two people rates not even on mention. Furthermore, if a ‘shit-stika’ can rate an investigation by the DOJ as a ‘hate crime,’ a double homicide should get the same treatment.

I’d like to know if he was affiliated with Black Lives Matter at Jackson State University.

Black Thug Kills White Teacher

Why the silence about such a brutal event? It’s hard to understand.

From the Daily Mail – “The student accused of murdering and raping his teacher was seen in surveillance footage rolling a recycling bin down a hallway and outside the school in court on Monday. Philip Chism, 16, sat quietly and emotionless while jurors watched video of him dragging the large blue recycling bin the prosecution claims contained the body of Colleen Ritzer, his math teacher at Danvers High School in Massachusetts.”

He is then seen returning to school with his pants covered in a dark red substance that appears to be blood. Fox Boston reports that jurors also saw footage of Chism walking into a nearby AMC movie theater that afternoon where a ticket for the film Gravity was purchased by someone on Ritzer’s credit card.

Chism, who was 14 at the time in October 2013, has admitted to killing his 24-year-old teacher, but is pleading not guilty on the grounds of insanity. Jurors also heard on Monday that Ritzer’s blood was found on a box cutter which was in Chism’s backpack as well as all the clothes he was seen wearing on the surveillance footage.”

Instead, we get to hear all about how a 17-year-old Black kid brandishing a knife and high on PCP, was gun down by a White Chicago cop. The media is quick to get on a news story like that fits their agenda which simply put claims “White people hate Black people and Black people can do no wrong.”

No word of condemnation yet from President Obama. And the Progressive media’s pretty fucking quiet too.

UPDATE: The Mysterious Winchester of Nevada

Remember the 133-year-old Winchester rifle found under a tree in Nevada’s Great Basin National Park in November 2014? The folks at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming have given it the once-over and are sharing some of their findings

The butt of the old Winchester was buried in 4 or 5 inches of dirt and debris from the tree, completely obscuring its metal butt plate and the lower portion of its stock. The gun was uncocked, its chamber and magazine empty, its metal rusted.

The rifle sat there, leaning against a juniper tree on a remote outcrop, since at least 1930, but it could have been left as far back as 1900.

An X-ray of the rifle discovered a cartridge tucked inside its stock where the cleaning rod is normally kept. The .44-40 caliber bullet in the rifle was removed and traced back to its long-gone manufacturer: Connecticut-based Union Metallic Cartridge Co.

The cartridge was made sometime between 1889 and 1911, before the Union Metallic Cartridge Co. merged with Remington in 1912.

The rifle was manufactured in February 1882 and shipped from Winchester’s factory in New Haven, Connecticut in June 1882. But the Winchester records did not reveal where the gun was shipped or what happened to it after that.

The DNC is Broke and in Debt

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is financially insolvent heading into the 2016 election year. Federal Election Commission records reveal the DNC reported a nearly million-dollar debt, marking the fourth month in a row that the DNC spent more money than it took in.

The DNC raised $4,456,789 in the month of October, according to its most recent filing. But the committee spent $5,254,928, for a net loss of $798,139.

That’s not quite as bad as September, when the party took in $4,296,011 but spent $5,504,823 for a net loss of more than $1.2 million. The DNC has only $4,703,185 in cash on hand against a $6,921,661 debt.

Keeping California’s Newsom Under the Gun

California Lt. Governor Gavin ‘Any Twosome’ Newsom wants to lead a fight against gun ownership — yet has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to surround himself with armed security.

When he was Mayor of San Francisco he spent upward of $72 million of the taxpayers money on personal protection. Then Newsom was elected to the position of Lt. Governor in 2010, assuming the office in 2011.

And the very next year, in July 2012, the Los Angles Times reported that the cost for providing security for Lt Governor Newsom was up nearly $30,000 above what it had been for his predecessor. According to the Times:

“The state spent $93,379 through May in the just-completed fiscal year on CHP protection for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took office at the start of 2011. The amount is up from the $65,954 spent in the previous fiscal year, the first half protecting Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, and the second half protecting Newsom.”

Here’s the bottom line: Newsom does not think allowing average Americans to be armed for self-defense does any good. But he has no problem spending millions to surround himself with armed security as mayor and to increase expenditures for armed security by $30,000 once he became Lt. Governor.

A Brief History of Violent Islamic Jihadism

Al Hijra is happening now, along with violent Islamic jihadism. This is the current phase in which we find ourselves today.

We need leaders who are students of history and comprehend the various phases of Islam (or who are at least willing to admit to the facts.) First Mecca, Medina, Second Mecca and the global jihad.

Those who continue to drone on about the “peaceful” Islam must come to realize that period is what’s called the First Mecca phase and lasted from 610-622 AD. Upon Mohammad departing Mecca, in what’s referred to as Al Hijra for Medina, Islam took a violent turn — starting with the Nakhla raid, led by Mohammad, followed by approximately another 30 combat operations.

This ended with the taking of Mecca, second phase, in the 628 AD Battle of the Trenches. At Mohammad’s command, some 3,000 male members of the Banu Qurayza tribe were beheaded.

Then came the export of Islamic jihadism globally, initiated by Mohammad’s letter to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius offering three options — conversion, subjugation/submission or death.

It took a while, but Constantinople fell in 1453 AD. And if it hadn’t been for the Venetian fleet’s victory at the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the Germanic and Polish knights’ at the Gates of Vienna in 1683, Europe could look very different.

Even Thomas Jefferson realized after meeting with the Dey of Algiers in Paris that this is an enemy that can’t be appeased, and paying jizya is a version of subjugation. And some things haven’t changed as we still have people who say we don’t need to respond with strength and might, because that’ll just inflame the situation.

Hold Your Applause, Please

Instead of clapping, start snapping. It’s called ‘snapplause.’

No really. And it’s triggering women anxieties, sending them running for their safe spaces.

It began when Britain’s National Union of Students, who were holding a conference on women’s issues, when someone tweeted, “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!”

Now Amherst professor Ilan Stavans, who teaches Latin American and Latino culture, is backing up that claim, saying “Finger-snapping is done delicately, respectfully, democratically, always in the middle of an event, whereas hand-clapping, which is by definition louder and more disruptive, is invariably reserved for the end. Also, finger-snapping, when done this way, always lasts, in totto, only a few seconds and is generally repeated three times in a row.”

Can someone please explain why clapping is a trigger, because I don’t get it?

Going Off Half-cocked

New York Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez unveiled new legislation to curb gun violence, in which she cited a gun crime figure that shows she didn’t do all her homework. Velázquez’s announcement of the new bill, she featured a statistic about the number of guns stolen each year:

“Across the U.S., almost 600,000 guns are stolen each year from private homes. New York streets are often a destination for guns lost or stolen in states with more permissive gun laws.”

Velázquez’s figure is not backed up by the Bureau Justice Statistics which calculated approximately 232,500 stolen firearms per year, or one-third of Velázquez’s claim.

As this charade played out on Capital Hill, U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross sentenced Jalita Johnson to only a year of probation, 180 days of home confinement and 40 hours of community service for straw purchasing a firearm used in the murder of Omaha Police Officer Kerrie Orozco.

Johnson wrote on the purchase form that she was buying the gun for herself. She later admitted she was buying it on behalf of her boyfriend Marcus Wheeler, a convicted felon.

Police say Wheeler killed Officer Orozco on May 20 when he opened fire on officers trying to arrest him. Wheeler was killed when another officer returned fire.

President Obama appointed Ross to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in December 2013.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration also released thousands of violent felons, many with previous firearms charges to roam the streets. Oh, and don’t forget, the President is still considering executive action on gun control for legal gun owners.

And as we wait — Connecticut officials are urging owners of now-illegal assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines to relinquish them to the police or make them permanently inoperable. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection sent a letter to owners who had failed to register the items by a January 1 deadline, part of last year’s gun control law.

Finally, a 6-year-old in Ohio was suspended from school for three days, after using an imaginary weapon during recess. The boy was playing a game of Power Rangers during a school break when he pretended to shoot another student with an imaginary bow and arrow.

It seems that our society is being ‘fundamentally transformed’ using lies, lawlessness, over-regulation and a lack of imagination.

Busting the $15-an-hour Wage Myth

Fast-food workers recently protested in support of a federal $15-an-hour minimum wage. The main argument is that employees believe they are living below the poverty line, which suggests an inability to provide a family with food, clothing, and shelter.

First off, employment in the fast-food industry, unless upper management, should be an entry-position and not a permanent job. Secondly, over-taxation has a lot to do with how much money is left on the employees’ paycheck by the time he or she gets it.

In New York State, the sales tax rate is now 4-percent and as high as 8.875-percent in certain municipalities. Meanwhile, New York City’s income tax rate is 8.82-percent.

On the Left Coast, California adds a mandatory local rate of one-percent that increases the total state sales and use tax base to 7.5-percent and depending on local municipalities, the total tax rate maybe as high as 10-percent.

Unfortunately, the poverty line is jus’ an imaginary boundary established by government bureaucrats to rationalize their existence. The average poor person, as defined by the government, has a living standard far higher than you’d imagine.

The federal government claims that a family of four making less than $24,250 is below the poverty line. Breaking it down as one parent working, that’s $11.66 per hour, which actually is above the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Using New York’s tax rate, that $24,250 per year suffers a 36-percent tax burden. So it isn’t the so-called low wage – it’s the taxation.

However, the typical household defined as poor by the government also has a car, air conditioning, three televisions with cable or satellite programming, a DVD player, two or more smart phones, a personal computer with Internet service and a printer.

The family also has a game system, like an Xbox or a PlayStation. In the kitchen, there’s a refrigerator, oven and stove, microwave, dishwasher and a coffee maker, with other household conveniences that include a washer and dryer and ceiling fans.

In the end, poor families certainly struggle to make ends meet, but in most cases, they are struggling to pay for comforts as well as to put food on the table. Their living standards are far different from the images of dire deprivation promoted by activists and the mainstream media.

There is a difference between real poverty and modern conveniences – it’s the gap between want and need — but you have to be willing to be truthful about where that line’s drawn. Plus you need to know that a healthy reduction in taxation also means more money come payday.

The Smoke of Progressivism

You’re jus’ blowing smoke up my ass when you claim the Jewish refugee crisis of World War II is anything like the so-called Syrian exodus of today.

First, the Jews were not a terror threat and there is evidence that terrorists are hiding among Syrian refugees. Then there is the fact that the Jews were singled out for persecution by the Nazis and were not initially escaping a war.

Next, the Jews had nowhere to go as they didn’t have a homeland until after it was turned back over to them in 1948. On the other hand Syrian refugees have many places to go as there are 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Opposition to Jewish refugee crisis was “racial.” Shamefully, one of the main reasons immigration laws restricted Jewish entries into the U.S. was to promote the racial, i.e. genetic, superiority of the national “stock.”

However, any opposition to Syrian refugees is based on security concerns. So it’s not bigotry to oppose the Obama administration’s current policy.

There were communities in the U.S., even prior to our entry into World War II that were willing and able to resettle the Jewish refugees. It’s not clear the Arab-American or Muslim-American communities have similar abilities as a recent report to Congress revealed that 90-percent of recent Middle East refugees in the U.S. are on food stamps.

Finally, many of the Syrian “refugees” are neither Syrian, nor refugees. Many of those who have joined the “refugee” wave are from other countries in the Middle East, or even further afield. They pose as Syrian because they know they are likelier to be received sympathetically, given the civil war there.

In addition, a majority — are “migrants,” not “refugees” as defined by international law. The “migrants” include those who have found shelter elsewhere, but prefer the West’s opportunities.

Dead Fall

Several hundred trees across Northern Nevada snapped under the weight of a wet snow during a recent storm. Now people want to know who is responsible for the clean up, and how long it will take.

This is a perfect example of what is wrong in the U.S. today as there was time that the responsible for the clean up would belong to us and we would act on it.

Neighbor would help neighbor and no one would have even thought to ask how long it would take a local government agency to get the job done. True, limbs caught on power lines and traffic lights would need government services or the electric company; but still a ‘city tree’ falls on your fence, destroying it, and you have to wait before you cut it up and repair your fence?

This goes against the grain of what built this nation. Sadly, the days of ‘rugged individualism,’ and people who would rather do for themselves than ask for it to be done by anyone else, are gone.

It’s been replaced by a lack of personal responsibility brought on by too many rules and regulations.

Something Seems Unbalanced

President Obama is dismissing the idea we should only take Christian refugees instead of Muslims: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are, We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

And still he continues to allow Muslims in while denying the majority of Christian’s entry into the U.S. So far, 2151 Syrian refugees have thus far been admitted to the United States — 2098 of them are Muslims, while only 53 are Christians.

The main problem is that most of the refugees being considered for U.S. resettlement are referred by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Therefore, there’s no real way of telling who is a Islamic extremist and who isn’t – save for the 53 Christians.

Let This Be a Lesson to Us

Charlie Sheen appeared on TV to say he is HIV positive and has indeed been so for four years. Apparently has spent millions on drugs and prostitutes – and hush money to keep this news private, but today decided to share it with the entire world.

Sheen’s case is one of many that can be pointed too in the last several months – if not years – that prove our nation in the throes of moral decay.

Bruce Jenner being celebrated with awards and magazine covers because he paid for a bunch of surgery, took a bunch of hormones and shaved his legs. Students on college campuses complain about Halloween costumes and whine about free tuition.

Plus, we have presidential candidates that claim the biggest threat facing us is the weather. And I know a number of people who care more about winning some damned online game than they do about liberty.

No wonder the Islamists call us infidels and no wonder they believe they can easily defeat us. I mean jus’ look around at what our nation has become — the land of “participation trophies,” “safe places” and “gun-free zones.”

Down In Your Cups

This year’s ‘holiday season’ red cups at Starbucks have stirred up critics who accuse the company of waging a war on Christmas. Starbucks said it removed the “symbols of the season,” in favor of a simple, two-toned red cup.

Starbucks vice president Jeffrey Fields said the company “wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

A former pastor, Joshua Feuerstein — who calls himself a “social media personality,” is one of many who’ve taken exception. He criticizes Starbucks for removing. “…Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.”

Because I’m not a fan of Starbucks, I honestly don’t care what sort of cup design they use for this Christmas season, but unfortunately, if a coffee cup design defines the meaning of Christmas for you – then you’re practicing religion — not celebrating your faith.

And there is a rather simple solution — if you don’t like how Starbucks, or any other company for that matter, conducts business — don’t buy from them.

Media Bias and Religious Iconography

The media is in the throes of trying to destroy Dr. Ben Carson’s character. Progressive ‘news’ organizations like Politico wrote and published a hit piece challenging Carson’s like story and were eventually debunked, forcing the authors of such crap to fess up to the swindle.

Now they’re going after some religious iconography he has hanging on his living room wall.

It’s a painting the doctor with a ‘Black Jesus’ standing behind him. A lot of people have these sort of paintings and there’s nothing wrong with it as it depicts Carson’s personal belief that he’s being guided by the holy hand of Christ.

“The decor at Ben Carson’s home in Maryland shows that Donald Trump may not have the biggest ego among the Republican candidates. On display are awards, certificates, medals, and a painting of himself with Jesus,” decried a media outlet.

But this is also the same media that has allowed President Obama to slide on the same sort of trivial matters. Remember the one painted by Michael D’Antuono and titled, “The Truth,” featuring Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head.

As one media outlet reported, “On his 100th day in office, President Obama will be ‘crowned’ in messianic imagery at New York City’s Union Square.”

It’s become more and more clear each day that the real problem in the U.S. is the Progressive media and their cult-of-personality idol worshiping actions.

The Rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Here are nine reasons President Obama is wrong when it comes to having denied the permit application on the Keystone XL Pipeline:

1.  Simply building the southern part — which didn’t need Obama’s approval — has already created 4,000 construction jobs.

2.  The pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, where U.S. refineries are already equipped to handle the heavier crude.

3.  Many people across the U.S. live near a pipeline without even knowing about it.

4.  After the State Department concluded that the pipeline was environmentally safe, the decision to build Keystone XL should’ve been a business decision – not a government one.

5.  The Keystone XL Pipeline is a part of the larger Keystone Pipeline System.

6.  After multiple environmental reviews concluding that Keystone XL poses minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife, the Obama administration still rejected the permit application.

7. The State Department’s final environmental impact statement concludes that the Canadian oil is coming out of the ground whether Keystone XL is built or not, so the difference in greenhouse gas emissions is tiny.

8.  Building and operating Keystone XL will result in real private-sector jobs that will grow the U.S. economy. This is much different from the president’s taxpayer-funded green jobs plan that merely siphons resources out of the market and forces pricier energy on the American public.

9.  A CNN poll in the beginning of 2015 found that 57 percent of Americans support the project, while only 28 percent oppose it.

There’s a reason behind this refusal — and it’s a certain bet that it’s not about the ‘environment’ as the administration would like us to think.

Dates Matter to Jihadists

It was September 11, 1863, when Kara Mustafa led the Ottoman Empire against the Holy Roman Empire, where the surrounded the gates at Vienna, the gateway to Rome. The outcome was an extreme embarrassment to the empire, ending with Mustafa being beheaded by his own Sultan.

On November 14, 1914, the religious leader Sheikh-ul-Islam declared an Islamic holy war in Constantinople in the capitol of the Ottoman Empire on behalf of the Ottoman government. He compelled his Muslim followers to go to war against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro in World War I.

Hook or By Crook

President Obama in a recent NBC interview praised himself for his work on racial justice and combating discrimination as his administration executes the nation’s largest mass release of federal prisoners. But, like always, there’s an underlying hypocrisy in the Progressive agenda.

As part of the movement the U.S. Sentencing Commission lowered maximum sentences for drug offenders and made it retroactive. The Obama administration started releasing the first wave of 6,000 drug convicts who will get out of jail early.

In all, about 50,000 prisoners are eligible for early release and federal authorities claim they’re all “non-violent” offenders whose sentences were ‘too long in’ the first place.

However, the feds went after commercial fisherman Anthony Joseph of New York, for “Fisheries Fraud” because he caught too many fluke, then lied about it. He has been sentenced to seven months in prison, a $603,000 fine and three years of supervised release following incarceration, according to the Department of Justice.

So much for ‘teaching a man to fish,’ when he can jus’ sell drugs to our kids and get a ‘get out of jail free,’ card.

Much to the Delight of ISIS

Police have identified the suspect accused of stabbing several people at the University of California, Merced as 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad of Santa Clara. After attacking a construction worker and two students, he rushed down two flights of stairs to the outside and stabbed a school employee sitting on a bench.

He then fled and was shot by campus police. He was carrying flammable petroleum jelly, zip tie handcuffs, night vision goggles, duct tape and a hammer in his backpack while wearing all-black when killed.

“He had like a sweatshirt, and the hoodie was up…and it covered his whole face,” student Blanca Ayala said.

Andrew Velasquez, who lived in the dorms with the attacker, said he didn’t talk much and kept to himself.

“Every time I would try and say something he would just ignore it,” stated Velasquez.

Police say they’re still trying to find a motive for the stabbings though they also claim “there’s nothing to indicate any political or religious motivation.” Investigators added that a manifesto, found on the attackers’ body, indicates he was angry over being kicked out of study group.

His manifesto included a “detailed list” of targets and plans to tie students to desks in an effort to lure police into the room. From there, the computer science and engineering student wanted to take the officer’s gun and shoot people.

The manifesto indicated he “intended to kill a lot of people.” Investigators had said night vision goggles, duct tape and zip tie had been found in his backpack. The four-page document also included several references to Allah.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Dorothy Leland said, “At this point, it would be irresponsible to draw such conclusions based solely on the ethnicity of the suspect.”

“At this point in time, the preliminary evidence suggests that freshman computer science and engineering student…” she added, “appears to have been motivated by personal animosities, not a political agenda.”

The attack drew immediate praise from a Twitter account associated with ISIS/ISIL once his name was divulged by campus authorities. The tweet in Arabic, read: “May Allah accept him.”

America is Falling

As a kid, my old man smacked me in the back of the head so hard I had a headache for the rest of the day. He did this all because I gave our paper boy the finger after he threw a rolled-up paper, hitting me in the mouth.

Dad later told me that expected better from me, despite the fact that we both knew the paper boy had done it on purpose. It’s a lesson I didn’t soon forget.

But now ‘flying the bird’ is being encouraged by the so-called anti-immigration group, ‘Deport Racism,’ who oppose Donald Trump. In their latest video, a young boy and girl are seen shouting words like “motherfuckers,” “fuck,” and “dick,” as well as other Spanish profanities.

At one point, one young boy raises a middle finger to the camera while he holds a sign reading, “Deport this.” While the kids obviously think being allowed to do this sort of stuff on camera is fun, the adults ought to be ashamed for misusing a child in such a way.

Unfortunately, they’re not.

And don’t try telling claiming, “But you don’t understand, it’s a cultural thing…” There are Latino and Hispanic parents all across the U.S., who, if they caught their son or daughter doing this, would get the ass-whooping of a lifetime.

In the end, it’s a societal thing and America is falling from the inside out because of such rot.

The Travails of Being an Anti-rape Activists

A few college campus anti-rape activists are complaining in the online publication, about how hard it is for them to get a guy to have sex with them. Worst still is that they claim that it’s all the guys’ fault.

First, there’s UC-Berkeley’s Meghan Warner, who serves as the director of the university’s sexual-assault commission and is part of a federal complaint against the school for its mishandling of assault cases. She thinks it’s strange that guys who find out what she does immediately insist they’d never do anything like that.

“Then there were those who were a little too eager to make it known that they would never, ever assault a woman. Their first response is ‘I’m not one of those guys, I would never do that,’” she said. “I mean, what, should I be carrying gold stars now?”

From the sound of it, Warner can’t even get a participation trophy, let alone gold stars.

And then there’s Chrissy Keenan from UCLA, whose pissed when a guy suddenly decides he doesn’t want to give consent after he finds out what she does. In fact he tells a cute little story about a recent rendezvous:

“One time, I agreed to meet with this guy at 8 or 9 at night. Before we met, I said to him, ‘This is the work I do, I know the chief of police…so, don’t try and get creepy; I know all my rights.’ And five minutes later, he was like, ‘Actually, I’m really not OK with how you just assume I’m a bad guy. And I get very bad vibes from that, so we shouldn’t hang out anymore.’”

“I was in a rage. He was a total fuckboy about consent,” she said.

Finally, there’s Sofie Karasek, a recent UC Berkeley graduate and co-founder of ‘End Rape’ on Campus. She’s also involved with the UC Berkeley lawsuit and has a large part in the campus rape-culture documentary ‘The Hunting Ground.’

“Honestly, even if they’re supportive, even if they say all the right things, and really want to discuss my job, it makes me feel weird about hooking up with them,” she said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, we were just talking about rape, and now we’re going to hook up.’ It’s just weird.”

Men are often accused of “thinking with their dicks,” but in these case’s those so-called dick’s were smarter than the women.

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